Saturday, 31 January 2015

Torino v Sampdoria Preview

Torino will look to win their third game in succession when they welcome high-flying Sampdoria to the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday afternoon.

Nikola Maksimovic misses out through injury, so he could be replaced in the Toro back line by either Pontus Jansson or Cesare Bovo. Bruno Peres is also back from suspension, but Cristian Molinaro may retain his place after a good display against Inter last weekend.

Maxi Lopez, who was involved in Emiliano Moretti's memorable last minute winning goal could earn his first start for the club - after impressing in his three substitute appearances so far.

Sampdoria have had an excellent season thus far and are currently in 5th position, and are only two points away from the final Champions League position.

New signing Samuel Eto'o has been included in the squad and could make his debut for his new club.

Prediction
Torino 1-1 Sampdoria

Monday, 26 January 2015

Inter 0-1 Torino

Emiliano Moretti's 94th minute winner gave Torino their first win against Inter at the San Siro since 1988 on Sunday afternoon.

Giampiero Ventura made just the one change from the team who beat Cesena last weekend, and that was an enforced one, as the suspended Bruno Peres was replaced by Cristian Molinaro.

The first chance of the game fell to Fredy Guarin but the Colombian midfielder blazed his shot over the bar. Mauro Icardi forced Daniele Padelli into making a good save, whilst Joel Obi also fired wide of the target as the home side were limited to half chances.

Despite the home side dominating possession, Toro did look dangerous on the counter attack and Josef Martinez should have done better with a free header from a corner. The Granata were creating more and more as the game wore on, and both Cristian Molinaro and Fabio Quagliarella had late chances to earn all three points for Torino.

However, with the final kick of the game Torino did win it, as Omar El Kaddouri's corner was flicked on by substitute Maxi Lopez and experienced defender Emiliano Moretti got the final touch to earn the Granata a memorable victory.

This was a perfect away performance from Toro who remained solid at the back and for once took the chance that they were presented with in the latter stages. This victory was the first time Torino have beaten one of the established 'big clubs' in Serie A since returning to the top division three seasons ago.

Forza Toro


Saturday, 24 January 2015

Inter v Torino Preview

Torino will make the short trip to Milan to face Inter at the San Siro looking for consecutive victories in Serie A for the first time this season.

The Granata have not lost any of their last six fixtures, with their last league defeat coming in the dying seconds against neighbours Juventus at the end of November.

Bruno Peres is suspended, so Cristian Molinaro should come into the starting eleven as should Kamil Glik who has returned from a suspension of his own. Last weekend's match winner Maxi Lopez could also be rewarded with his first start for the club.

Inter have made a number of reinforcements since Roberto Mancini returned to the club, and new signings Lukas Podolski and Xherdan Shaqiri should both feature.

The nerazzurri are also on an unbeaten run, and have not lost a game since a 2-1 home defeat against Udinese in December.

Prediction
Inter 2-1 Torino

Monday, 19 January 2015

Cesena 2-3 Torino

Maxi Lopez's late strike spared Torino's blushes as the Granata had threw away a two goal lead against bottom-of-the-table Cesena on Sunday afternoon.

As expected, Pontus Jansson, Bruno Peres and Fabio Quagliarella all started, whilst there was only a fifth start of the season for Marco Benassi in midfield.

Toro took the lead twenty minutes into the game when Alexander Farnerud's pass found Marco Benassi on the edge of the area whose shot flew passed Nicola Leali and into the next.

Less than two minutes later, the Granata doubled their lead, when Farnerud's cross found Fabio Quagliarella who ended his long goal drought by volleying it into the bottom corner - with some assistance from the Cesena keeper who fumbled it over the line.

However, two minutes before half time Daniele Padelli conceded a second penalty in consecutive games after he fouled Franco Brienza. The former Palermo forward stepped up to take the penalty himself, and scored to half the deficit.

Milan Djuric had the opportunity to equalise for the home side early in the second half, but his header went wide of the far post.

With just five minutes remaining Pontus Jansson inexplicably handled in the area under no pressure, and Franco Brienza converted from the spot for the second time in the game.

However, the drama was not over yet as just two minutes later, Fabio Quagliarella fed substitute Maxi Lopez, and the Argentine finished calmly to secure three vital points for Toro.

Forza Toro.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

Cesena v Torino Preview

Torino will look to secure their first away league victory since September when they travel to Cesena on Sunday afternoon.

Maxi Lopez could be in line for his first start in a Granata shirt following his debut for the club in Wednesday's Coppa Italia defeat to Lazio. Kamil Glik is suspended, so Pontus Jansson should deputise, whilst Fabio Quagliarella has also recovered from injury.

Cesena have struggled since returning to Serie A, and are currently in the bottom of the league having only won one game all season - on the opening day against Parma.

Prediction
Cesena 0-1 Torino

Friday, 16 January 2015

Torino 1-3 Lazio

Torino were eliminated from the Coppa Italia on Wednesday evening after a disappointing 3-1 defeat at the hands of in form Lazio.

Giampiero Ventura surprisingly dropped Bruno Peres and Alexander Farnerud, whilst Swedish defender Pontus Jansson was given a start in midfield.

The Granata started slowly and were behind within the opening quarter of an hour, as Balde Keita was allowed to run unchallenged from the half-way line before firing a powerful left footed shot past Daniele Padelli.

Toro felt they should have had a penalty, when Abdoulay Konko handled Kamil Glik's header towards goal, but referee Carmine Russo waved away the appeals.

The away side doubled their lead on the half hour mark when Miroslav Klose ghosted in behind Torino's back three to convert Danilo Cataldi's low cross.

Maxi Lopez came on at half time to make his Toro debut, and within five minutes Torino had reduced the deficit. Omar El Kaddouri received the ball out wide and played in Josef Martinez who turned and shot quickly to beat Etrit Berisha in the Lazio goal.

However, Lazio were given the opportunity to extend their lead when a Kamil Glik slip put Klose through on goal. Despite putting his shot wide, the referee adjudged the veteran German striker to have been fouled by Daniele Padelli and therefore awarded a penalty, and sent off the Torino goalkeeper.

Cristian Ledesma stepped up and beat Toro's third choice goalkeeper Luca Castellazzi from the spot and Padelli's dismissal effectively ended the game as a contest.

This was a disappointing exit from a competition which was Toro's only real hope of qualifying for Europe next season, and the protests against president Urbano Cairo continued at the final whistle.

Forza Toro

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Torino v Lazio Preview

Torino face Lazio in the last 16 of the Coppa Italia this evening, with Granata fans dreaming of seeing their team lift the trophy for the first time since 1993.

New signing Maxi Lopez has been included in the squad, although Fabio Quagliarella misses out due to injury. After impressing in Saturday's draw with AC Milan, Bruno Peres and Alexander Farnerud should keep their places in the starting eleven.

Lazio have been in fine league form recently, as illustrated by Sunday's 2-2 with Roma - a game in which they were 2-0 up at half time before being pegged back by Francesco Totti's heroics. Brazilian midfielder Felipe Anderson has been in scintillating form as of late, having been involved in each of Lazio's last seven goals (four scored, three assisted).

Prediction
Torino 1-1 Lazio (Lazio to win on penalties)