Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Torino v HJK Helsinki Preview

Torino can take a step closer to qualifying for the last 32 of the Europa League when they face HJK Helsinki on Thursday evening.

The Granata won their last game in Europe in dramatic fashion, as Fabio Quagliarella's injury time penalty gave them a deserved victory against Copenhagen.

Daniele Padelli, Nikola Maksimovic and Josef Martinez are all expected to start for as Giampiero Ventura rotates his squad.

HJK have already won their domestic league, but come into this game having lost their opening two Europa League fixtures without scoring. However, Gambian international Demba Savage could cause Toro problems, as the winger has scored eleven league goals this season.

Prediction
Torino 2-0 HJK Helsinki

Monday, 20 October 2014

Torino 1-0 Udinese

Torino secured their first home win of the Serie A season with a convincing victory over in form Udinese on Sunday afternoon.

Swedish defender came into the starting eleven to replace the suspended Kamil Glik, whilst former Udinese striker Fabio Quagliarella was joined upfront with Amauri, who has yet to score for this new club.

Cristian Molinaro, who was surprisingly selected ahead of Matteo Darmian had Toro's first chance, but his volley from Cesare Bovo's cross hit the side netting. At the other end, former Chievo striker Cyril Théréau saw his header sail narrowly wide of the post.

Giuseppe Vives was taking up advanced positions in the Toro midfield, and after an excellent run the veteran midfielder was unlucky to see his shot rebound off the post. The home side were continuing to create chances and Amauri was some how denied his first goal for the club as goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis saved his header on the line.

However, Torino finally took a deserved lead on the hour mark, and once again it was Fabio Quagliarella who scored it, as the Italian striker steered a header into the far corner.

Udinese should have equalised, although Théréau somehow blazed a volley over the bar from only six yards out. Giuseppe Vives, who wore the captain's armband in the absence of Glik almost capped a fine performance with a goal, but his long range strike was tipped over the bar by Karnezis.

Torino held on for a crucial victory which moves them up to 12th place in the Serie A standings, although the fact that 80% of their league goals have been scored by Fabio Quagliarella could become a problem as the season progresses.

Forza Toro.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Torino v Udinese Preview

Torino will look to earn their first home victory of the season when they face Udinese at home on Sunday afternoon. 

The Granata will be without Kamil Glik and Omar El Kaddouri who were both dismissed for dissent after the final whistle in the defeat against Napoli, so Cesare Bovo and Juan Sanchez Mino should deputise.

Antonio Nocerino, who has been missing from the Toro squad since being injured against Club Brugge in mid-September is available for selection. 

Udinese have enjoyed a resurgence this season under new coach Andrea Stramaccioni, and have won four of their opening six games. with veteran striker Antonio Di Natale in fine form. 

Prediction
Torino 1-1 Udinese

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Napoli 2-1 Torino

Fabio Quagliarella's wonder goal was not enough for Torino as they succumbed to a 2-1 defeat against Napoli, despite taking the lead.

The Granata surprised many by playing two recognised strikers as Marcelo Larrondo joined Quagliarella upfront, whilst there was also a rare start for Marco Benassi in midfield.

Toro made a bright start and Kamil Glik had already went close before they took the lead in sensational fashion after fourteen minutes. Nikola Maksimovic's long ball was instantly controlled on his chest by Fabio Quagliarella who then finished spectacularly with a volley from a difficult angle.

The home side should have been level shortly afterwards, after a mistake from Maksimovic gave Lorenze Insigne a great opportunity, but the young winger hit the post - whilst Gonzalo Higuain was denied on the rebound.

Jean Francois Gillet has impressed since returning to the starting eleven, and he made excellent saves to deny Insigne and Gokhan Inler. However, Insigne finally got his goal as somehow the smallest man on the pitch was left unmarked to head home Juan Zuniga's fine cross.

Fifteen minutes later Napoli took the lead when substitute Cristian Molinaro lost Jose Callejon at the far post, and the Spaniard's effort fortuitously looped over Gillet in the Toro goal.

Torino had an appeal for a penalty turned down in injury time by referee Davide Massa, despite the fact Zuniga appeared to handle the ball in the area. Things got even worse for the Granata after the final whistle as both Kamil Glik and Omar El Kaddouri were sent off for protesting the referee's decision.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Napoli v Torino Preview

Torino will go into Sunday evening's match against Napoli full of confidence after their dramatic late victory in the Europa League on Thursday,

The home side were also in European action in midweek, and despite victory over Slovan Bratislava they have struggled in league action and are yet to win at the San Paolo this season.

The Granata will welcome back the impressive Bruno Peres to their squad, as the Brazilian has not been registered for the Europa League. Former Napoli striker Fabio Quagliarella has scored in his last three games and will be looking to continue his impressive run of form against his hometown club.

Prediction
Napoli 1-0 Torino

Friday, 3 October 2014

Torino 1-0 København

Torino won their first group game in the Europa League group stage due to a dramatic Fabio Quagliarella penalty in injury time.

Giampiero Ventura surprisingly selected his first choice back three of Nikola Maksimovic, Kamil Glik and Emiliano Moretti whilst Josef Martinez was partnered with Amauri up front.

The Granata should have taken the lead after twenty minutes, but Emiliano Moretti somehow hit the bar with a free header from only three yards.

Torino continued to create the better chances, and left wing back Cristian Molinaro was only denied by a smart save from Stephan Anderson in the København goal.

The Danish side also missed a great opportunity through former Cardiff City striker Andreas Cornelius but he also somehow contrived to miss a free header from a corner.

Josef Martinez was proving to be a particularly useful outlet up front, and he used his pace to get a shot on goal but was denied by Anderson.

Just when it looked like Torino would be denied, former Bologna defender Mikael Antonsson pulled back substitute Fabio Quagliarella in the area in injury time.

Toro have had difficulties from the penalty spot this season, but there was little doubt that Quagliarella would score, and he did so to give Torino a deserved victory, and three vital points.

Forza Toro

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Torino v København Preview

Torino face their first Europa League home game of the season when they face Danish side København at the Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening.

Giampiero Ventura is expected to rotate his squad, just as he did in the opening game away to Brugge, and that may enable players such as Pontus Jansson, Marco Benassi and Josef Martinez to receive some game time.

København currently lead group B having beaten HJK Helsinki in matchday one, however their domestic form is not so impressive as they are currently 5th in the Danish league.

These two sides have met before in Europe, with Toro emerging victorious in both legs of the 1991/92 Europa league quarter finals.

Prediction
Torino 2-1 København