Sunday, 8 December 2019

Torino v Fiorentina Preview

Torino host Fiorentina at the Stadio Grande Torino on Sunday afternoon as they look to make it three wins from their last four games.

Toro will once again be without the injured Andrea Belotti, although Simone Zaza could come into the starting eleven, with Alex Berenguer and Simone Verdi also expected to start.

Fiorentina are just a point behind Toro, but come into the game having lost their last three matches - including disappointing 1-0 defeats against newly promoted sides Hellas Verona and Lecce.

Prediction
Torino 2-1 Fiorentina

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Genoa 0-1 Torino

Torino recorded successive away victories for the first time since September 2017 as they beat Genoa 1-0 on Saturday evening.

Andrea Belotti failed to recover from injury, so Walter Mazzarri lined up with a striker less formation, with Alex Berenguer playing as a 'false nine'.

Toro had a good chance to take the lead, but Cristian Ansaldi could not got his effort on target at the far post against his former team.

Genoa were much improved after the break, and were unlucky to see Kevin Agudelo's effort hit the bar after an excellent run. The home side then hit the post moments later, this time through striker Andrea Favilli.

With less than fifteen minutes remaining, Genoa were made to pay for those missed chances as Toro took the lead thanks to a magnificent header from Brazilian defender Bremer.

Simone Verdi almost scored his first since re-joining the club, but his long range effort was tipped over the bar Ionut Radu.

Substitute Simone Edera was dismissed in injury time after picking up two yellow cards, but the Granata held on for a vital victory.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Genoa v Torino Preview

Torino travel to Genoa on Saturday evening looking to achieve successive away victories in the league for the first time since September 2017.

That task is made more difficult by the fact Andrea Belotti is a doubt after he limped off in the defeat against Inter. However, the Toro captain has been included in the squad.

Genoa won their first game under new coach Thiago Motta, but have lost two and drawn two since that victory against Brescia.

Prediction
Genoa 1-1 Torino

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Torino 0-3 Inter

Torino fell to a disappointing 3-0 home defeat against Inter in terrible weather conditions on Saturday evening.

Torrential rain at the Stadio Grande Torino put the game in doubt, but the game did begin after a slight delay as particularly poor areas of the pitch were made playable.

The home side may have been regretting the work of the groundsmen to get the game on, when inspirational captain Andrea Belotti limped off the pitch with a rib injury after only ten minutes. Almost immediately, Inter took the lead when Lautaro Martinez latched onto a headed clearance and finished well past Salvatore Sirigu.

The Italian international goalkeeper then made a stunning save to deny Romelu Lukaku from doubling the away side's lead. However, from the resulting corner, more poor defending from Toro allowed Stefan de Vrij to side foot home at the far post.

Toro came close to pulling a goal back just before half time, but this time it was Samir Handanovic's turn to make a great save, as he denied Lorenzo De Silvestri.

However, Inter put the result beyond any doubt when Romelu Lukaku added a third goal, ten minutes after half time.

This was another disappointing performance for the Granata, who have now lost seven of their thirteen league games this season - and are only four points above the bottom three.

Forza Toro

Friday, 22 November 2019

Torino v Inter Preview

Torino host Inter at the Stadio Grande Torino on Saturday evening in search of back-to-back victories for the first time since August.

The Granata will be without Lyanco who was injured on international duty, whilst Daniele Baselli and Tomas Rincon are also doubts despite being included in the squad. Alex Berenguer, who scored twice as a substitute against Brescia is in line to be rewarded with a starting place.

Inter have made an excellent start to the season, and are only one point behind Juventus at the top of the table under new manager Antonio Conte.

Prediction
Torino 1-1 Inter

Monday, 11 November 2019

Brescia 0-4 Torino

Torino secured their first three points since September as they thumped Brescia 4-0 on Saturday afternoon.

Toro made a bright start and were awarded a slightly controversial penalty when Andrea Cistana was adjudged to have handled Simone Verdi's free kick. Andrea Belotti stepped up and made no mistake to give the Granata the lead.

Incredibly, Toro were awarded another penalty for handball, which seemed a lot more clear cut but did need a VAR consultation after Ales Mateju handled Belotti's shot. The Torino captain stepped up and once again converted to doubled Torino's lead.

The home side were then reduced to ten men when Ales Mateju received a second yellow card for a foul on Belotti.

However, despite the man disadvantage, Brescia started the second half well and could have reduced the deficit but Salvatore Sirigu made an excellent double save to first deny Florian Ayé and then Nikolas Spalek.

However, Alex Berenguer came on as substitute for Toro and the Spaniard sealed the three points for the Granata with a smart turn and finish. The former Osasuna man then added a fourth on the counter attack as Toro claimed a much needed victory.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 9 November 2019

Brescia v Torino Preview

Torino head to the Stadio Mario Rigamonti in Brescia on Saturday afternoon in desperate need of their first victory since September.

Mario Rigamonti, one of the star defenders of the Grande Torino team was born in the city of Brescia and the stadium was named after him when it opened in 1959.

Nicolas Nkoulou has returned to the squad following suspension, however Kevin Bonifazi, Daniele Baselli, Iago Falque and Simone Zaza all miss out due to injury.

Brescia are one of the few teams in worse form that Toro, and have lost five of their last six matches. A defeat at fellow newly promoted side Hellas Verona last week resulted in former Toro player Eugenio Corini being sacked as manager, and he has been replaced by Fabio Grosso.

Prediction
Brescia 1-2 Torino

Friday, 8 November 2019

Torino 0-1 Juventus

Torino had a much improved performance but fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Juventus in the Derby Della Mole.

Bremer replaced the suspended Nicolas Nkoulou in defence, whilst Tomas Rincon returned to the starting eleven following injury.

Toro thought they should have had a penalty in the opening stages, when Matthijs de Ligt handled Andrea Belotti's flick on - however the referee waved away Torino's appeal.

At the other end, Salvatore Sirigu made a good save to deny Paulo Dybala after good work from Federico Bernardeschi.

Torino's best chance of the first half came when Andrea Belotti cut the ball back for Soualiho Meïté, but the French midfielder blazed the ball over the bar.

Just before half time, Sirigu once again came to the rescue as he made a miraculous save to deny De Ligt opening the scoring from close range.

At the start of second half, the Toro goalkeeper made another sensational save, this time to deny Cristiano Ronaldo. Sirigu was once again the saviour for Torino as he tipped an excellent volley from substitute Gonzalo Higuain over the bar.

However, from that resulting corner, Juventus finally took the lead as a deep corner was knocked back for Matthijs De Ligt to volley home.

Toro almost equalised immediately, as Cristian Ansaldi's slalomed through the Juve defence before finally being denied by Wojciech Szczęsny.

The Granata thought they had an injury time equaliser, after an excellent finish from Bremer, but the Brazilian was flagged offside.

Forza Toro!

Friday, 1 November 2019

Torino v Juventus Preview

Torino head into the first Derby Della Mole of the season on Saturday evening in desperate need of a result, following a run of one win in eight games.

Nicolas Nkoulou will miss the game through suspension, whilst Iago Falque has picked up an injury in training so will miss out.

Juventus are currently one point clear at the top of the Serie A table, however they could only manage a draw in their last away game at Lecce.

Forza Toro

Thursday, 31 October 2019

Lazio 4-0 Torino

Halloween arrived early for Torino on Wednesday evening as a defensive horror show saw the Granata lose 4-0 at Lazio.

Lyanco replaced Koffi Djidji in defence, whilst Diego Laxalt, Sasa Lukic, Soualiho Meïté and Simone Zaza also earned starts.

Felipe Caicedo had the first chance of the game, but the Ecuadorian striker curled his shot wide of the target.

The home side took the lead after twenty-five minutes from absolutely nowhere, with centre back Francesco Acerbi scoring an unbelievable goal from more than thirty yards.

Lazio doubled their lead less than ten minutes later, as former Toro striker Ciro Immobile was able to fire past Salvatore Sirigu.

Toro made a brighter start to the second half, and almost pulled a goal back when Soualiho Meite's shot could only be parried by Thomas Strakosha, but Andrea Belotti volleyed the rebound onto the crossbar.

Any hopes of a comeback for Toro were ended when Nicolas Nkoulou received a second yellow card for a challenge on Caicedo, and Lazio were awarded a penalty. Immobile stepped up and sent Sirigu the wrong way to extend their lead.

With the last kick of the game, Lazio added a fourth as Andrea Belotti glanced a header into his own net to cap a night to forget for the Granata.

Tuesday, 29 October 2019

Lazio v Torino Preview

Torino travel to the capital on Wednesday evening to face Lazio as they look to improve their disappointing recent form.

Lyanco and Diego Laxalt could return to the starting eleven, whilst Simone Zaza is likely to start after scoring after coming off the bench on Sunday.

Whilst Toro have not won in their last four matches, Lazio are unbeaten in their last four and recorded an impressive 2-1 away victory against Fiorentina in their last match - with former Toro striker Ciro Immobile's scoring a last minute winner.

Prediction
Lazio 2-1 Torino

Torino 1-1 Cagliari

Torino came from behind to earn a point against Cagliari at the Stadio Grande Torino on Sunday afternoon.

Walter Mazzarri made a number of changes to the team that lost against Udinese, with Koffi Djidji, Lorenzo De Silvestri, Ola Aina and Iago Falque all coming into the starting eleven.

Toro had made a bright start, but it was the visitors who had the best chance early on, although Joao Pedro's shot went wide of the target when well placed.

Andrea Belotti almost capitalised on an error by Cagliari defender Luca Ceppitelli, but the Toro captain was then denied by Robin Olsen.

Just before half time, the Sardinians took the lead thanks to Uruguayan midfielder Nahitan Nández who fired home after Giovanni Simeone's assist.

With the Granata booed off the field at half time, Mazzarri made a change with Simone Zaza replacing Iago Falque in attack.

However, it was Cagliari who came close to doubling their lead in the early stages, with Giovanni Simeone's shot tipped over the bar by Salvatore Sirigu.

With twenty minutes remaining, Toro found an equaliser thanks to good work from their inspirational captain Andrea Belotti who delivered an excellent left wing cross that was well finished by Simone Zaza.

Neither side did enough to win the game in the closing stages, and a point each was probably a fair result.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 27 October 2019

Torino v Cagliari Preview

After a run of only one win in their last six games, Toro will look to improve that record when they host in form Cagliari on Sunday evening.

Iago Falque could make his first league start of the season, whilst Lorenzo De Silvestri and Ola Aina could also come into the starting eleven.

After losing their first two games of the season, Cagliari are now unbeaten in six games and have claimed impressive results with a win at Napoli and an away draw against Roma during that run.

Prediction
Torino 2-1 Cagliari

Thursday, 24 October 2019

Udinese 1-0 Torino

Torino's inconsistent start to the season continued as they fell to a 1-0 defeat to Udinese on Sunday afternoon.

New signings Diego Laxalt and Simone Verdi were once again named in the starting eleven, as Toro hoped to build on their promising performance against Napoli in their previous game.

Udinese made a bright start and could have taken the lead in the opening minute, but Ken Sema saw his low shot hit the post. The home side were continuing to create chances, and Mato Jajalo's was unfortunate to see his long range shot hit the other post.

On the stroke of half time, Udinese finally got their reward as Stefano Okaka headed home from close range.

Toro did improve in the second half, and an acrobatic volley from Andrea Belotti forced Juan Musso into a save. Iago Falque came off the bench and almost made an instant impact, but his deflected effort went narrowly wide of the target.

Andrea Belotti had one final chance to rescue a point for the Granata, but his shot went just wide of the post. However, it wasn't to be, and Toro have now lost four of their eight league games so far this season.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 20 October 2019

Udinese v Torino Preview

Torino will look for a first away victory since August when they travel to Udinese on Sunday afternoon.

Lyanco should keep his place in the back three following an impressive performance against Napoli, whilst Lorenzo De Silvestri and Ola Aina will be looking to regain the places in the starting eleven.

The home side are only three points behind the Granata, but have only won one of their last six matches. However, they have won two of their four home games this season, both by a 1-0 scoreline.

Prediction
Udinese 1-2 Torino

Monday, 7 October 2019

Torino 0-0 Napoli

Torino kept their first clean sheet of the season as they earned a deserved point at home to Napoli on Sunday evening.

Lyanco replaced his suspended compatriot Bremer in defence, whilst Diego Laxalt and Sasa Lukic also started.

Salvatore Sirigu made the first save of the match, as he denied Fabian Ruiz's long range effort after good work from Sebastiano Luperto.

At the other end, Simone Verdi came close to scoring against his former team, but his strike could only find the side netting. Dries Mertens, who has an excellent goal scoring record against the Granata came close to adding to his tally, but his attempt to chip Sirigu went narrowly over the bar.

Cristian Ansaldi, who scored in Toro's last game against Parma almost made it two goals in two games, but his excellent volley from the edge of the area was well saved by Alex Meret.

In the second half, Toro came close once again, this time through captain Andrea Belotti's speculative overhead kick attempt. Napoli had a great chance to win the game through substitute Fernando Llorente, but the former Tottenham striker headed over the bar when well placed

The game ended goalless, and that was probably a fair result as neither side had done enough to win the game.

Saturday, 5 October 2019

Torino v Napoli Preview

Torino host Napoli on Sunday evening with the Granata hoping to improve their fortunes following a run of three defeats from their last four matches.

Toro will be without Simone Zaza who picked up an injury in training this week, so former Napoli man Simone Verdi should continue in the starting eleven.

Napoli have won four of their six Serie A fixtures so far this season, although they did suffer a surprise 1-0 home defeat against Cagliari last month.

Prediction
Torino 1-2 Napoli

Thursday, 3 October 2019

Parma 3-2 Torino

Ten man Torino fell to a narrow defeat against Parma in an entertaining encounter on Monday evening. 

Nicolas Nkoulou made his first league start of the season for the Granata, whilst Simone Verdi was preferred to Simone Zaza in attack.

The Granata made the worst possible start as they were behind after only two minutes when Gervinho crossed for Dejan Kulusevski to tap in from close range. 

However, the Granata responded well and were level ten minutes later when Simone Verdi crossed for Cristian Ansaldi to head home.

The match turned on the half hour mark when Toro defender Bremer received a second yellow card for handball, and the hosts were awarded a penalty. However, Gervinho's penalty was saved magnificently by Salvatore Sirigu.

Incredibly, and despite having one player less, Toro were awarded a penalty of their own just before half time when Vincent Laurini elbowed Andrea Belotti in the area. The Toro captain stepped and sent Luigi Sepe the wrong way to give Toro the lead

However, in first half injury time, Parma scored an equaliser as the Toro offside trap failed and allowed Andreas Cornelius to finish emphatically.  

Parma capitalised on their man advantage as they dominated the second half, with only another outstanding save from Sirigu denying Gervinho a goal. 

Toro's attacks were limited, but Armando Izzo did force a save from Sepe from a set piece at the same end that he had scored the winning goal v Atalanta a month previously. 

However, just when it seemed as though Toro had done enough to earn a point, Gervinho fired a cross into the area that the Toro defence could not deal with, and that allowed substitute Roberto Inglese to score with only two minutes remaining.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Parma v Torino Preview

Torino travel to Parma on Monday evening hoping to secure their second away victory of the season, in the same stadium as their first.

Toro have only beaten Atalanta on the road so far this campaign, who are temporarily playing games in Emilia-Romagna.

Nicolas Nkoulou could finally come back into the starting eleven, whilst Cristian Ansaldi and Diego Laxalt could also come into the team that beat AC Milan on Thursday.

The home side have won two of their five games this season, including a 1-0 home victory against Sassuolo in midweek. Parma also managed to pick up four points against the Granata last season, with the match at the Stadio Ennio Tardini ending goalless.

Prediction
Parma 0-1 Torino

Friday, 27 September 2019

Torino 2-1 AC Milan

Andrea Belotti produced an inspirational performance as he scored two goals to help Torino come from behind to beat AC Milan on Thursday evening.

Simone Verdi made his first start since rejoining the club, but that was the only change from the starting eleven who lost at Sampdoria.

The away side made the better start and were awarded a penalty when Lorenzo De Silvestri was adjudged to have fouled Rafeal Leão in the area. Polish striker Krzysztof Piątek stepped up and fired his penalty past Salvatore Sirigu.

The Rossoneri could have extended their lead before half time, but Sirigu made an excellent save to tip a header from Leão over the bar. Toro had a good chance to equalised just before the break, but Andrea Belotti could not keep his effort down with Gianluigi Donnarumma out of his area.

AC Milan continued to create chances in the opening exchanges of the second half, and Piątek should have scored following an assist by Alessio Romagnoli. The visitors were made to rue that miss, as with twenty minutes remaining, Toro grabbed an equaliser thanks to their captain Andrea Belotti whose shot from just outside the area somehow found its way past Donnarumma.

Incredibly, Toro then took the lead four minutes later, as despite missing his initial effort from close range, Andrea Belotti scored an over head kick following Simone Zaza's shot.

Simone Zaza had a chance to seal the victory, but comically pulled up with cramp whilst trying to take the ball round Donnarumma on the counter attack. That miss was almost crucial, as in the dying seconds, Suso's deep cross found Piątek, but he was denied by a miraculous save by Sirigu, and Toro held on to a vital victory.

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Torino v AC Milan Preview

Torino host AC Milan at the Stadio Grande Torino on Thursday night with both teams in need of a victory.

Nicolas Nkoulou returns to the Toro squad for the first time since the Europa League home leg with Wolves, whilst Cristian Ansaldi is also included following injury.

AC Milan will be looking to bounce back following defeat in the Milan derby against rivals Inter on Sunday, and have only scored two goals in four games this season.

Prediction
Torino 0-0 AC Milan

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Sampdoria 1-0 Torino

Torino's disappointing run of form continued as they fell to a 1-0 defeat against previously winless Sampdoria on Sunday evening.

Walter Mazzarri resisted the temptation to make wholesale changes from the disappointing defeat against Lecce, although Lyanco, Bremer and Simone Zaza did come into the eleven.

Sampdoria made a bright start, in contrast to the miserable weather in Genoa as both Fabio Depaoli and Manolo Gabbiadini had shots on goal inside the opening minute.

However, it took until the second half for the first real chance of the game, as ex Southampton striker Manolo Gabbiadini gave the home side the lead. However, there was some controversy surrounding the goal as both Ola Aina and Lyanco felt they had been fouled in the build up.

The Granata were then thankful for Salvatore Sirigu who made good saves to deny both Ronaldo Vieira and Albin Ekdal.

Toro were struggling to create chances against a resolute Sampdoria defence, but Simone Zaza did force Emil Audero into making a save.

Despite the introduction of summer signings Diego Laxalt and Simone Verdi from the bench, Toro could not find an equaliser and fell to a second consecutive defeat.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 21 September 2019

Sampdoria v Torino Preview

Torino will travel to Genoa on Sunday afternoon hoping to rebound from their disappointing defeat against Lecce on Monday night.

Lyanco is expected to replace Koffi Djidji in defence, whilst Diego Laxalt impressed as substitute against Lecce so could replace Ola Aina at left wing back.

Sampdoria have made a terrible start to the season and are currently bottom of the table due to losing all three games and have conceded nine goals in the process.

Toro fans will be hoping for a repeat of the scoreline from this fixture last season, a 4-1 victory that was arguably the Granata's best performance of the last campaign.

Prediction
Sampdoria 1-1 Torino

Wednesday, 18 September 2019

Torino 1-2 Lecce

Torino missed a great opportunity to win their first three games of a Serie A season - a feat that has not happened for 43 years - as they fell to shock 2-1 home defeat to newly promoted Lecce.

Walter Mazzarri decided to stick with the same starting eleven that beat Atalanta before the international break, despite Simone Zaza being fit and Simone Verdi signing from Napoli.

Toro had the first chance of the game, but Alex Berenguer could not make any contact with Andrea Belotti's low cross.

The away team took the lead against the run of play ten minutes before half time, as Salvatore Sirigu could only parry Filippo Falco's initial shot, which meant Diego Farias was on hand to score.

Torino were awarded a generous penalty just before the hour mark, as substitute Simone Zaza was adjudged to have been pushed at a corner. Andrea Belotti stepped up to take the penalty, and the captain sent Gabriel the wrong way to equalise.

However, it was the Southern side who looked the most likely to score a winner, and their loyal band of travelling fans got what they wanted with less than twenty minutes to go. The goal was similar to the first, as Sirigu could only parry a long range shot from Marco Calderoni, and substitute Marco Mancosu volleyed home from close range.

Salvatore Sirigu made a sensational save to deny Khouma Babacar from inflicting further damage on the Granata, whilst at the other end, Simone Verdi went close from a deflected shot.

Toro thought they should have had a penalty in injury time when Andrea Belotti was pushed to the floor, but after a lengthy VAR delay, the referee decided not to award a spot kick, and Lecce could celebrate a memorable victory.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 15 September 2019

Torino v Lecce Preview

Torino will hope to maintain their 100% league record when they face Lecce at the Stadio Grande Torino on Monday evening.

Nicolas Nkoulou will not return to training until Tuesday, despite apologising during the week for his behaviour in the weeks leading up to the closure of the transfer window. Therefore, Armando Izzo, Kevin Bonifazi and Koffi Djidji should continue in the back three, although Lyanco is also included in the squad for the first time this season.

Simone Verdi is unlikely to feature from the start, but could make a second debut for the club from the bench, whilst Simone Zaza has also recovered from injury and is available for selection.

Lecce have enjoyed an incredible rise in recent seasons, achieving successive promotions in order to earn their place in Serie A this campaign. However, the Giallorossi have so far struggled at a higher level and have lost both of their games without scoring.

Prediction
Torino 3-0 Lecce

Wednesday, 4 September 2019

Atalanta 2-3 Torino

Torino produced an impressive performance as they came from behind to beat Atalanta 3-2 and maintain their 100% start to the Serie A season.

Koffi Djidji replaced Bremer in the back three, whilst Alex Berenguer replaced the injured Simone Zaza as the main support for Andrea Belotti,

Toro had the first chance of the game as Daniele Baselli's clipped free kick found Armando Izzo at the far post, but his header was clawed off the line by Pierluigi Gollini.

However, the Granata did not have to wait long before taking the lead, as another Daniele Baselli set piece, this time a short corner, found Kevin Bonifazi, and the defender's bullet header went past a helpless Gollini.

Atalanta equalised fifteen minutes later as a flowing passing move culminated in a calm finish from Duvan Zapata. The Colombian almost scored a carbon copy of that goal just before half time, but this time, his shot went wide of the post.

Just ten minutes into the second half, Zapata did score again - this time a sensational solo effort as he ran from the half way line before hitting a powerful shot past Salvatore Sirigu.

However, Toro showed great character to equalise just three minutes later as Alex Berenguer exchanged passes with Soualiho Meite before curling home from a difficult angle.

With twenty five minutes remaining, Toro took the lead as another Daniele Baselli free kick caused havoc in the Atalanta defence and allowed Armando Izzo to head home at the far post.

Luis Muriel and Hans Hateboer both missed late chances to earn Atalanta a point, but Toro held on to claim a vital victory.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 1 September 2019

Atalanta v Torino Preview

Torino face Atalanta on Sunday evening and will look to immediately recovery from the disappointment of their Europa League elimination. 

This match will be played in Parma, due to renovations taking place at Atalanta's stadium, and Toro will be looking to take inspiration from their 'hosts'.

Twelve months ago, the Bergamo side were also eliminated from the Europa League before the group stages, however, they were then able to qualify for the Champions League.

Toro will be without the injured Simone Zaza who picked up an injury in the defeat to Wolves, so Alex Berenguer should support Andrea Belotti in attack.

Atalanta had a dramatic start to the Serie A season last weekend, as they came from 2-0 behind away to SPAL to win 3-2, with new signing Luis Muriel scoring twice.

Prediction
Atalanta 2-1 Torino

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Wolves 2-1 Torino

Torino were eliminated from the Europa League as they lost 2-1 on the night in Wolverhampton and 5-3 on aggregate.

As expected, Ola Aina, Tomas Rincon and Sasa Lukic came into the starting eleven, whilst Kevin Bonifazi replaced the wantaway Nicolas Nkoulou who remained in Turin.

Toro started the better but could only create half chances with Ola Aina and Tomas Rincon firing wide. The home side then took the lead against the run of play when Adama Traore's cross was poked home by Raul Jimenez against the run of play.

Toro had a good chance to equalise before half time, but Simone Zaza's header was straight at goalkeeper Rui Patricio.

Ten minutes into the second half, the Granata did score a deserved equaliser when Daniele Baselli's free kick was headed home by Andrea Belotti. However, almost immediately, Wolves re-gained the lead in slightly fortuitous fashion as Bremer's poor clearance went straight to Leander Dendoncker and his shot hit both posts before going in.

With Toro needing two goals to force extra time, they were giving everything in order to prolong their European adventure and Simone Zaza missed two half chances before going off injured.

Soualiho Meite and Andrea Belotti also missed great chances when well placed in the dying stages, and that could have produced a frenetic ending - but it wasn't to be.

Forza Toro

Thursday, 29 August 2019

Wolves v Torino Preview

Torino will travel to Wolverhampton looking to overturn a 3-2 first leg deficit in order to progress to the Europa League group stages.

Toro will be without Nicolas Nkoulou who has not travelled to England with speculation surrounding his future still remaining, whilst the injured Cristian Ansaldi should be replaced by Ola Aina in defence.

Wolves could only manage a 1-1 draw with Burnley in the Premier League at the weekend, and Nuno Espirito Santo may make changes for the second leg, with Adama Traore once again expected to feature.

Prediction
Wolves 1-1 Torino

Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Torino 2-1 Sassuolo

Torino began the Serie A season with a hard fought 2-1 victory over Sassuolo at the Stadio Grande Torino on Sunday evening.

Kevin Bonifazi started in defence with Nicolas Nkoulou asking not to be considered for selection due to transfer speculation linking him with a move to Roma. In midfield, Sasa Lukic and Tomas Rincon replaced Alex Berenguer and Soualiho Meite who were disappointing in the defeat against Wolves.

Toro made a good start and were ahead on fourteen minutes when Cristian Ansaldi's cross was headed home by Simone Zaza. Toro almost doubled their lead after good play by Andrea Belotti, but Lorenzo De Silvestri was denied by Andrea Consigli.

At the start of the second half, Salvatore Sirigu made a miraculous save to deny Pedro Obiang from a corner and ensure parity.

Torino then doubled their lead in extremely fortuitous circumstances, as Andrea Belotti's shot from outside the area deflected off the heel of Simone Zaza and into the net. Incredibly, the goal has now been awarded to Belotti, rather than a brace for the former Sassuolo man.

The away side ensured a nervy ending for the Granata as Jeremie Boga's initial shot hit the post, but Francesco Caputo was on hand to tap home. Boga was continuing to cause problems for the Toro defence, and he forced a save from Salvatore Sirigu in the dying moments, but Torino did enough to hold on for all three points.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Torino v Sassuolo Preview

Torino will begin the 2019/20 Serie A campaign with a home match against Sassuolo on Sunday evening.

After the disappointing result against Wolves, Walter Mazzarri may make a few changes with speculation that Kevin Bonifazi may replace Nicolas Nkoulou in the back three.

Captain Andrea Belotti has scored spectacular overhead kicks in the last two home games against Sassuolo, and could complete a remarkable hat trick in this fixture.

Sassuolo will be without the suspended Domenico Berardi, but new signings Jeremy Toljan, Hamed Traore and Pedro Obiang should all make their league debuts.

Prediction
Torino 2-1 Sassuolo

Torino 2-3 Wolves

Torino will face a tough test to make it to the Europa League group stage, after they suffered a 1st leg defeat against Wolves at the Stadio Grande Torino on Thursday night.

With Iago Falque injured, Simone Zaza and Andrea Belotti continued up front with Alex Berenguer supporting in a 3-4-1-2 formation.

Wolves had the first chance of the game, with right wing back Adama Traore causing problems for Torino, and his low cross found Diogo Jota, but Salvatore Sirigu produced a good save with his legs.

At the other end, Nicolas Nkoulou hit the crossbar with a header following an inch perfect cross from Armando Izzo. It was then Izzo himself who went close to giving Torino the lead, but he was denied by Rui Patricio.

On the stroke of half time, Wolves took the lead as Joao Moutinho's excellent free kick delivery was headed into his own net by Bremer.

On the hour mark, Wolves doubled their lead when Traore, causing havoc on the right, again found Diogo Jota in the area, and this time he made no mistake.

However, Torino immediately pulled a goal back when Cristian Ansaldi's excellent cross found Lorenzo De Silvestri who headed into the net.

Wolves re-established their two goal advantage ten minutes later when some hesitant Toro defending allowed Raul Jimenez to add a third goal.

Just when it seemed Torino's European adventure was going to be over, they were handed a lifeline when Ruben Vinagre upended Andrea Belotti in the area. The Toro captain stepped up and fired past Patricio to reduce the deficit once again.

In injury time, Belotti almost conjured up an incredible equaliser, but his long range effort was tipped round the post by Patricio.

Torino have now left themselves a difficult, but not impossible task to achieve in Wolverhampton as they must win by two clear goals in order to reach the group stage.

Forza Toro

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Torino v Wolves Preview

Torino host Wolves on Thursday evening in the first leg of their crucial Europa League playoff round tie.

Toro have an almost full strength squad at their disposal, however Lyanco and Iago Falque are missing through injury. Walter Mazzarri may choose to reinforce the midfield against their English opponents, so Tomas Rincon, Daniele Baselli and Soualiho Meite could all feature.

Wolves played Manchester United in the Premier League on Monday evening, and an improved second half performance meant they picked up an impressive 1-1 draw. Wolves coach Nuno Espírito Santo does not tend to rotate his preferred starting eleven that often, so an unchanged team is perhaps likely.

Prediction
Torino 0-0 Wolves

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Shakhtyor Soligorsk 1-1 Torino

Torino could only manage a 1-1 draw in Belarus against Shakhtyor Soligorsk, however, the Granata still progressed to the next round of the Europa League 6-1 on aggregate.

Walter Mazzarri rotated his team as Kevin Bonifazi, Tomas Rincon and Sasa Lukic all came into the starting eleven from the first leg.

The home side started well, and Max Ebong Ngome came close to opening the scoring and was unlucky to see his effort come back off the crossbar.

Toro started to create more chances in the second half, as both Simone Zaza and Lorenzo De Silvestri went close. With ten minutes remaining, Torino opened the scoring with a sensational solo effort from Zaza, who picked the ball and navigated past two challenges before finishing well in the bottom corner.

However, in injury time Shakhtyor were awarded a penalty when substitute Nikolai Yanush was upended in the area by Salvatore Sirigu. Yanush emphatically converted the penalty to give the Belarusian side the goal they ultimately deserved on the night, but it was Toro who progressed to the Playoff Round.

Torino will now face a tough tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers, with a place in the Europa League group stage at stake.

Forza Toro

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Shakhtyor Soligorsk v Torino Preview

Torino will travel to Belarus for the second leg of their Europa League tie with Shakhtyor Soligorsk on Thursday evening.

The Granata may choose to rest a few key players given their 5-0 advantage from the first leg, so Kevin Bonifazi, Tomas Rincon and Sasa Lukic could feature.

The home side may have lost convincingly in Turin, but that did not seem to bother Shakhtyor domestically as they beat Neman Grodno 6-0 at the weekend.

Prediction
Shakhtyor Soligorsk 1-2 Torino

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Torino 5-0 Shakhtyor Soligorsk

Torino produced an impressive European performance as they thrashed their Belarusian counterparts Shakhtyor Soligorsk 5-0 at the Stadio Grande Torino on Thursday night.

The Granata made a dream start when Andrea Belotti headed home with just sixty seven seconds on the clock.

Toro then doubled their lead thanks to another set piece, this time it was Armando Izzo who was able to nod in at the far post. The away side should have pulled a goal back ten minutes before half time after a nicely worked move, however Pavel Rybak somehow chipped over the bar when well placed.

Rybak's night went from bad to worse as he conceded a penalty after fouling Alex Berenguer in the area, and Andrea Belotti made no mistake from the spot to make it 3-0.

Lorenzo De Silvestri added a fortuitous fourth goal after an attempted clearance by a defender ricocheted off the wing back and into the net. Substitute Kevin Bonifazi added a fifth goal after Andrea Belotti's free kick could only be parried by the goalkeeper.

The result was harsh on the visitors who did have their chances, but Toro will travel to Belarus with a healthy first leg advantage.

Forza Toro




Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Torino v Shakhtyor Soligorsk Preview

Torino host Belarusian side Shakhtyor Soligorsk on Thursday evening in the third qualifying round of the Europa League.

Walter Mazzarri is not expected to make many changes from the side that beat Debrecen 7-1 on aggregate in the previous round, especially as Iago Falque is still unavailable.

The Belarusian side are currently mid-way through their league season, and are currently third after fourteen matches. There will be a familiar face in the Shakhtyor team, as Ukrainian defender Vasyl Pryima is a former Toro player, but only made one appearance, with that coming in a Coppa Italia tie.

Prediction
Torino 2-0 Shakhtyor Soligorsk

Monday, 5 August 2019

Debrecen 1-4 Torino

Torino qualified for the third qualifying round of the Europa League after a comfortable victory in Hungary secured a 7-1 aggregate victory.

Andrea Belotti and Simone Zaza had both had good opportunities to give Toro the lead before the latter finally opened the scoring with a nicely taken left footed finish.

The Granata then doubled their lead just five minutes later when Armando Izzo tapped home at the far post.

Simone Zaza almost added a sensational third goal, but his chipped effort from almost 40 yards went just wide of the post.

The home side pulled a goal back just after the break when Nigerian striker Haruna Garba headed home from close range.

However, the Granata restored their two goal lead on the night after great interplay by Simone Zaza and Andrea Belotti allowed the Toro captain to score.

Torino added a fourth goal in injury time, with youngster Vincenzo Millico coming off the bench to score his first senior goal with a looping header.

Toro will now face Belarusian side Shakhtyor Soligorsk in the next round.

Forza Toro

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Debrecen v Torino Preview

Torino will travel to Debrecen on Thursday evening. confident of making it through to the next round of the Europa League.

The Granata produced a professional performance a week ago with a 3-0 1st leg victory, but will be without Iago Falque for the return leg. Simone Zaza, a goalscoring substitute in the win last week is the most likely candidate to replace the Spaniard.

Should the Granata emerge victorious, they will face the winners of the tie between Esbjerg and Shakhtyor Soligorsk. The Belarusian side are 2-0 up from the first leg.

Prediction
Debrecen 1-2 Torino

Friday, 26 July 2019

Torino 3-0 Debrecen

Torino will take a commanding 3-0 lead to Hungary after a convincing first leg performance against Debrecen on Thursday night.

Toro should have taken the lead within the opening five minutes, but Bremer was unable to make contact with Andrea Belotti's cross. However, the Toro captain then won his side a penalty when he was upended in the area by Debrecen keeper Sandor Nagy.

Belotti stepped up himself and thumped home the penalty to score Torino's first European goal in four years. The Granata doubled their lead in fortuitous fashion just before half time when Cristian Ansaldi's miscued cross somehow made its way past Nagy and into the Debrecen goal.

Torino had chances to extend their lead in the second half, with Spanish winger Alex Berenguer twice going close. However, in injury time, Torino finally scored a third goal as substitute Simone Zaza headed home from a corner.

Forza Toro

Wednesday, 24 July 2019

Torino v Debrecen Preview


Torino's Europa League campaign will begin in the unfamiliar surroundings of the Stadio Moccagatta in Alessandria on Thursday evening.

AC Milan's withdrawal and Toro's late entry into the Europa League led to a number of issues, one of which being the Stadio Grande Torino being unavailable on this date due to a concert.

Toro have name a strong squad for the tie, with Koffi Djidji, Ola Aina and Vittorio Parigini being the only absentees.

Debrecen finished 3rd in the Hungarian league last season to qualify for the Europa League and are captained by former Genoa midfielder Dániel Tőzsér.

In order to gain more information from a Debrecen perspective, I spoke with Loki fan Charlie_Barca on Twitter.

1. Firstly, how did you become a Debrecen supporter? 

My wife is Hungarian and it is her hometown.

2. Was qualifying for the Europa League last season seen as a big achievement, or were they expected to do so? 

We haven’t been in Europe since our new stadium (20k capacity Nagyerdei Stadion) was finished so this is quite a big deal for Debrecen supporters. We got the last Europa League spot on the last day, so it was a bit of a relief.

3. What European experience have Debrecen had in recent years? I seem to remember them playing Liverpool a few years ago? 

We have been in the Champions League and played Liverpool and Man Utd, however we had to travel to Budapest to play these games.

5. Which players should we watch out for? Who was the best performer last season?

Kevin Varga can be a tricky player on his day, just not sure which day. Csaba Szatmári is a decent defender, who can cover a lot of mistakes. 

6. What would winning the tie mean for Debrecen and Hungarian football in general? 

Winning anything would be amazing, but I think we are a few years away at the moment, but things are getting better especially with all the new stadiums that have been built. It’s encouraging and we are ready to be seen as a European football country.

Forza Toro

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Torino 3-1 Lazio

Torino ended the season in style with a 3-1 victory over Lazio on Sunday afternoon in Emiliano Moretti's final game before retirement.

Despite it being his last professional game, Emiliano Moretti started the game on the bench, with Bremer given a rare start.

The first half was one of few chances, but five minutes into the second half, the Granata took the lead when Ola Aina's long throw was volleyed home by Iago Falque.

Toro doubled their lead just two minutes later as good footwork from Soualiho Meïté put Sasa Lukic through on goal, and the Serbian slotted the ball past the on rushing Silvio Proto.

Lazio reduced the deficit when former Toro striker Ciro Immobile finished well despite being under pressure from Nicolas Nkoulou.

However, Toro made sure of the points with ten minutes remaining when Lorenzo De Silvestri was on hand to score after Proto saved Simone Zaza's shot.

Emiliano Moretti came on for the final five minutes and received the captain's armband from Andrea Belotti as he ended his career as a professional footballer on the winning side.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Torino v Lazio Preview

Torino host Lazio in the final game of the 2018/19 Serie A season, as Emiliano Moretti plays the final  game of his career.

The experienced defender announced his retirement during the week, and highlighted his class by asking coach Walter Mazzarri not to be involved in case it overshadowed the match itself.

The home side’s Europa League aspirations were dented when Lazio won the Coppa Italia, but the Granata will finish the season in 7th if they avoid defeat.

Prediction
Torino 1-1 Lazio

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Empoli 4-1 Torino

Torino's European dreams capitulated on a day to forget in Tuscany as they lost 4-1 to Empoli on Sunday afternoon.

Tomas Rincon returned from suspension, whilst Ola Aina replaced the injured Cristian Ansaldi at left wing back.

The Granata made a slow start, and the home side, fighting desperately against relegation were given a gift after just before the half hour mark.

Ola Aina carelessly gave the ball away on the edge of his own area, and former Toro midfielder Afriyie Acquah's cross-cum-shot found the bottom corner.

Torino improved after going behind, and Andrea Belotti twice came close to finding an equaliser. The Italian international was first denied by Bartlomiej Dragowski, and he then had a header miraculously cleared off the line by Hamed Traore.

Toro got a deserved equaliser ten minutes into the second half, as substitute Iago Falque curled home from the edge of the area. However, Empoli took the lead once again, as another former Toro player Matteo Brighi tapped home just moments after coming onto the pitch.

With the Granata pressing for an equaliser, they were hit on the counter attack, and wing back Giovanni Di Lorenzo fired home after some clever footwork to evade Armando Izzo. Francesco Caputo added a fourth goal in the dying seconds against a tired Toro defence who saw their slim chances of European qualification well and truly extinguished.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Empoli v Torino Preview

Torino face Empoli on Sunday afternoon knowing that even maximum points in their final two games may not be enough for European qualification.

Lazio's victory in the Coppa Italia final means that in order to qualify for Europe, Toro will need to finish in 6th place - thus needing one of Atalanta, AC Milan or Roma to slip up.

Cristian Ansaldi picked up an injury in the victory against Sassuolo so misses out and should be replaced by Ola Aina, whilst Tomas Rincon has returned from suspension.

Empoli are currently fighting to stay in the league, and despite winning their last two games, still occupy the third and final relegation spot.

Prediction
Empoli 1-2 Torino

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Torino 3-2 Sassuolo

Torino scored twice in a minute as they came from behind to beat Sassuolo and claim a vital three points on Sunday afternoon.

Emiliano Moretti returned from suspension and replaced Bremer in defence, whilst Daniele Baselli replaced the suspended Tomas Rincon in midfield.

Torino had an early chance to open the scoring when VAR harshly punished Sassuolo captain Francesco Magnanelli for a handball in the area. However, Toro captain Andrea Belotti blazed the spot kick high over the bar.

Ten minutes later, the away side then took the lead against the run of play thanks to Mehdi Bourabia's low drive from distance. However, the Moroccan midfielder was then dismissed as he received a second yellow card for removing his shirt in celebration.

Despite now being against ten men, it was the Granata who needed the half time interval to regroup from the psychological blow of missing the penalty and then conceding. Toro started the second half
brightly, and Andrea Consigli made a great save to deny Andrea Belotti's overhead kick.

Toro were level soon afterwards, as Lorenzo De Silvestri crossed for Belotti to make amends and score from close range.

However, with twenty minutes remaining, ten man Sassuolo surprisingly took the lead thanks to Pol Lirola's clever back heel following good work from Jeremie Boga.

With ten minutes remaining, Toro equalised when substitute Simone Zaza broke the offside and finished well. Incredibly, just a minute later, Toro took the lead as another De Silvestri cross was met by Andrea Belotti, whose bicycle kick flew past Consigli.

Toro were able to hold on and clinch all three points to maintain their challenge for European qualification.

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Torino v Sassuolo Preview

Torino will continue their quest for European qualification when they face Sassuolo on Sunday afternoon.

Toro will be without the suspended Tomas Rincon, however Iago Falque is fit again and included in the squad.

The away side are safely in mid-table and have been in good form as of late, and are unbeaten in their last six games.

Prediction
Torino 2-1 Sassuolo

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Juventus 1-1 Torino

Torino came close to securing their first away win in a Turin derby since 1995, but were cruelly denied late on.

Bremer made his first start for the club as he replaced the suspended Emiliano Moretti in defence, whilst Sasa Lukic was preferred to Daniele Baselli in midfield.

Toro made a bright start, and Wojciech Szczęsny was forced to make an early save to deny Andrea Belotti. The Granata got their reward for their positive play, and took the lead after seventeen minutes when Sasa Lukic capitalised on a Miralem Pjanic error and curled the ball into the top corner.

The home side reacted well, and Salvatore Sirigu made a good save to deny Blaise Matuidi, whilst Cristiano Ronaldo narrowly fired a shot wide of the post.

In the second half, substitute Ola Aina almost made the perfect entrance, as he almost doubled Toro's lead within seconds of coming on, but the Nigerian international's shot went over the bar.

With just six minutes remaining, Toro finally succumbed to the Juventus pressure as Leonardo Spinazzola's cross was expertly headed home by Ronaldo.

The Granata had to settle for a point, which they certainly would have taken pre-match, but they will be left wondering what could have been.

Forza Toro

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Juventus v Torino Preview


Torino travel to face their neighbours Juventus in the Derby Della Mole on Friday evening hoping to prolong their hopes of Champions League qualification.

The Granata have won their last two games, and a third consecutive victory would put them, temporarily at least, into 4th place.

Emiliano Moretti is suspended, so Bremer could replace the experienced defender, whilst Daniele Baselli will be pushing for a return to the starting eleven following his own suspension.

Juventus have already sealed an 8th successive Scudetto, but should be motivated to prevent their rivals having the local bragging rights.

Forza Toro

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Torino 2-0 AC Milan

Torino became serious Champions League contenders with an impressive 2-0 victory over AC Milan on Sunday evening.

With Daniele Baselli suspended, Sasa Lukic replaced the Italian midfielder, whilst Alex Berenguer continued to support Andrea Belotti in attack.

In a first half of few chances, the best of which fell to Suso, who had an early opportunity for the visitors, but the Spanish winger was denied by Salvatore Sirigu

At the start of the second half, Toro were awarded a penalty when Armando Izzo was pushed in the area by Franck Kessie. Andrea Belotti stepped forward and hit his penalty straight down the middle to give Toro the lead.

AC Milan came close to equalising, but Tiémoué Bakayoko's header from the edge of the area hit the crossbar. However, it was Toro who doubled their lead, as a poor defensive header from Mateo Musacchio was punished by Alex Berenguer's magnificent volley.

The away side were reduced to ten men when Milan captain Alessio Romagnoli was dismissed for dissent after sarcastically applauding the referee. The Granata were able to hold on and claim a vital victory, to increase their hopes of European football next season.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 28 April 2019

Torino v AC Milan

Torino can move above AC Milan in the Serie A table if they beat the Rossoneri at the Stadio Grande Torino on Sunday evening.

The Granata will be without the suspended Daniele Baselli and Simone Zaza, but Iago Falque and young striker Vincenzo Millico have both made a timely return to the squad following injury.

Gennaro Gattuso will be looking for a reaction from his side, who were eliminated from the Coppa Italia by Lazio in mid week, and have only picked up 1 point from their last three away games.

Prediction
Torino 1-1 AC Milan

Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Genoa 0-1 Torino

Torino boosted their hopes of qualifying for Europe with a vital 1-0 win against Genoa on Saturday afternoon.

Andrea Belotti returned from suspension to the lead the line for the Granata, whilst Ola Aina returned to the starting eleven.

The home side had the first chance of the game, but Ervin Zukanovic put his free header wide of the post. Toro then had Salvatore Sirigu to thank for ensuring parity, as the former PSG goalkeeper made a sensational Gordon Banks-esque save to deny Lukas Lerager.

After a disappointing first half, the Granata started the second half much better and Daniele Baselli curled a low free kick narrowly wide.

Just before the hour mark, Toro took the lead when a swift counter attack was finished off by former Genoa man Cristian Ansaldi. Salvatore Sirigu once again made a sensational save to deny Genoa, this time from substitute Christian Kouamé's header.

Torino had a chance to increase the margin of victory in the dying stages, as Andrea Belotti set up Vittorio Parigini, but the youth team product was denied his first Toro goal by Ionut Radu.

Friday, 19 April 2019

Genoa v Torino Preview

Torino travel to Genoa on Saturday afternoon looking to reignite their challenge for Europa League qualification.

Two successive draws have hampered Toro's European aspirations, but the Granata did achieve one of their best victories of the season in this stadium back in November - a 4-1 win over Sampdoria.

Andrea Belotti returns to the squad following suspension, whilst Ola Aina could be preferred to Lorenzo De Silvestri at right wing back.

Genoa have been in poor form since surprisingly beating Juventus last month, and have lost three of their last four matches - including the derby with Sampdoria last weekend.

Prediction
Genoa 1-1 Torino

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Torino 1-1 Cagliari

Torino lost ground on the teams chasing European football as they dropped two points at home to Cagliari on Sunday afternoon.

With Andrea Belotti suspended, Simone Zaza was given a rare start up front, and with Iago Falque still out, Alex Berenguer retained his place.

Alessio Cragno in the Cagliari goal made an excellent save to deny Daniele Baselli from just inside the area. At the other end, Artur Ionita almost gave the Sardinians a shock lead, but his powerful effort hit the bar.

Toro took the lead early in the second half as Armando Izzo kept the ball alive from a set piece and crossed for Simone Zaza to score just his third goal of the season.

However, the former Sassuolo man then turned from hero to zero as he was given a straight red card for dissent after being penalised by the referee.

Toro were punished almost immediately as Leonardo Pavoletti headed home a Luca Cigarini cross to equalise. The goal was initially disallowed for offside, but was then correctly given following a VAR review.

Cagliari ended the game with 9 men as both Luca Pellegrini and Nicolo Barella were both dismissed for second yellow cards. The Granata almost snatched all three points in the dying seconds, but Daniele Baselli's free kick was tipped over the bar by Cragno.

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Torino v Cagliari Preview

Torino host Cagliari early on Sunday afternoon hoping for more points as they continue their quest for European qualification.

The Granata are just four points behind AC Milan in 4th, and Toro could be unlikely challengers for the Champions League if they can continue their impressive home form.

However, Toro will be without top scorer Andrea Belotti through suspension, and with Iago Falque still injured, the Granata will have to rely on Simone Zaza - who has scored just twice in a disappointing campaign.

Cagliari are in good form, having won three of their last four games, although they have struggled on their travels this season. Before winning 3-0 at Chievo in their last away game, the Sardinians had lost five consecutive games away from home without scoring.

Prediction
Torino 1-0 Cagliari

Thursday, 11 April 2019

Parma 0-0 Torino

Torino missed an opportunity in the race for European football as they could only manage a goalless draw away to Parma on Saturday afternoon.

The Granata name an unchanged starting eleven following Wednesday's impressive 2-1 victory over Sampdoria.

The first half was one of few chances, but Toro came closest to opening the scoring through Daniele Baselli, but his volley from outside the area went just wide of the post.

In the second half, Daniele Baselli once again had a good chance, but blazed over when he could have found Lorenzo De Silvestri in space.

Parma were presenting a threat on the counter attack, and full back Federico Dimarco forced a save out of Salvatore Sirigu.

Toro had a chance to claim all three points on their own chance on the counter attack through substitute Vittorio Parigini, but the youngster opted to go for goal rather than crossing for Simone Zaza who was better placed, and therefore had to settle for a point.

Saturday, 6 April 2019

Parma v Torino Preview

Torino will travel to Parma on Saturday afternoon hoping to continue their recent good form in the chase for European places.

Lorenzo De Silvestri has been included in the squad, despite picking up an injury in Wednesday's victory against Sampdoria, therefore Walter Mazzarri may name an unchanged starting eleven.

The home side have lost their last three games, but did cause an upset by beating Toro 2-1 in Turin back in November.

Prediction
Parma 1-2 Torino

Torino 2-1 Sampdoria

Torino produced one of their finest performances of the season as they beat fellow Europa League contenders Sampdoria 2-1 on Wednesday evening.

As expected, Nicolas Nkoulou returned from suspension, whilst Alex Berenguer was preferred to the out of form Simone Zaza in attack.

Toro made the brighter start and took a deserved lead ten minutes before half time when Lorenzo De Silvestri's floated cross was sensationally headed home at the far post by Andrea Belotti.

On the stroke of half time, Toro doubled their lead when Cristian Ansaldi's cross was only partially cleared by Joachim Anderson, and Andrea Belotti finished well with the outside of his right foot.

The Torino captain came close to sealing a perfect hat trick, but his left foot shot from just outside the area narrowly whistled past the post.

The away side were struggling to create many chances, but Salvatore Sirigu made a good save to deny Gaston Ramirez's half volley. Another former Southampton player, Manolo Gabbiadini did ensure a nervy last ten minutes for the Granata, as he reduced the deficit with a fine left footed strike from outside the area.

However, Toro were able to hold on to seal a crucial three points in their quest for European qualification.

Forza Toro

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Torino v Sampdoria Preview

Torino will look to get back to winning ways when they host Sampdoria at the Stadio Grande Torino on Wednesday evening.

Nicolas Nkoulou will return to the starting eleven following suspension, although Iago Falque picked up an injury against Fiorentina and will miss out.

Sampdoria are one of the form teams in the division, having won four of their last five games which has catapulted them into the conversation for European qualification.

However, the reverse fixture back in November was arguably Torino's finest performance of the season as they claimed an impressive 4-1 victory.

Prediction
Torino 1-1 Sampdoria

Fiorentina 1-1 Torino

Torino fought back to earn a point against Fiorentina on Sunday afternoon as they stayed in touch with their fellow Europa League challengers.

As expected, Lorenzo De Silvestri and Emiliano Moretti replaced the suspended Ola Aina and Nicolas Nkoulou, whilst Iago Falque partnered Andrea Belotti upfront.

The Granata were behind after only seven minutes, as comical defending allowed Giovanni Simeone to beat the offside trap and round Salvatore Sirigu to score.

That goal seemed to wake the Granata up from a sluggish start, and they were level just after the half hour mark. Iago Falque held the ball up well, before setting up Daniele Baselli who curled a sensational strike into the top corner from just outside the area.

Salvatore Sirigu was once again Toro's hero as he first denied Giovanni Simeone and then former Toro man Marco Benassi to ensure the two teams went in at half time level.

Alban Lafont almost had an embarrassing moment as Cristian Ansaldi almost caught the young Frenchman off his line with a quickly taken free kick from the half way line, however the Argentine's effort went just over the bar.

Toro perhaps had the better of the second half, but it was the hosts who probably should have claimed all three points, but substitute Dusan Vlahovic headed over from close range and both sides had to settle for a point.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 30 March 2019

Fiorentina v Torino Preview

Torino will look to get back to winning ways when they travel to Florence to face Fiorentina on Sunday afternoon.

The Granata will be without the suspended Ola Aina and Nicolas Nkoulou, so Emiliano Moretti and Lorenzo De Silvestri should both feature against their former side.

The home side will be without the injured Federico Chiesa, who scored two late goals when the Viola knocked Toro out of the Coppa Italia back in January.

Fiorentina are without a win in their last four matches and will be looking for a positive result to keep alive their own hopes of European qualification via the league.

Prediction
Fiorentina 1-1 Torino

Tuesday, 19 March 2019

Torino 2-3 Bologna

Torino's excellent run of form finally ended as they succumbed to a surprise 3-2 defeat at home to Bologna.

Toro had an early reprieve when Lyanco, on loan from the Granata had an early goal for the visitors disallowed due to offside. Torino then took the lead as Cristian Ansaldi's shot from outside the area deflected off Erick Pulgar and into the net.

However, Bologna were deservedly level when good play from Rodrigo Palacio allowed Andrea Poli to head home at the far post. The away side were then awarded a penalty following a VAR referral after Soualiho Meite inexplicably handled the ball in the area. Erick Pulgar stepped up and converted the penalty to make amends for his earlier own goal.

Tomas Rincon came closest to an equaliser in the second half, however his long range effort was well saved by Lukasz Skorupski. Bologna then added a third goal after a swift counter attack ended with Ricardo Orsolini finishing nonchalantly past Salvatore Sirigu.

Lyanco's eventful day against his parent club continued as he was sent off after receiving a second yellow card. Toro were able to capitalise almost immediately as Armando Izzo headed home Alex Berenguer's free kick to reduce the deficit.

However, Ola Aina's frustrations got the better of him in stoppage time, and the Nigerian received two yellow cards in quick succession, the second of which for dissent, as Toro slipped to their first defeat since January.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 16 March 2019

Torino v Bologna Preview

Torino could move to within three points of the Champions League places with a victory against Bologna at the Stadio Grande Torino on Saturday afternoon.

Ola Aina and Iago Falque could return to the starting eleven after impressive performances as substitutes in the come back victory against Frosinone last weekend.

The Toro fans will welcome a number of familiar faces as Bologna are now coached by Sinisa Mihajlovic, who was Toro coach between 2016-2018, whilst Lyanco and Simone Edera are both currently on loan at the Rossoblu.

Bologna have seen a recent improvement since Mihajlovic took charge, winning two of his six games in charge, however they still remain in the bottom three.

Prediction
Torino 2-1 Bologna

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Frosinone 1-2 Torino

Torino's impressive run of form continued as they came from behind to beat Frosinone on Sunday afternoon.

Tomas Rincon and Simone Zaza both earned starts following their goal scoring cameo's as substitutes against Chievo last weekend.

However, Toro once again made a slow start to the first half and it was the home side who had the first chance of the game as Salvatore Sirigu had to make a save from Camillo Ciano following a rare mistake from Armando Izzo.

Toro had to rely on Sirigu once again, this time to deny Luca Paganini's curling shot from just outside the area. However, Paganini did not have to wait long to get on the score sheet as he headed home from a corner just three minutes before half time to end Toro's run of 599 minutes without conceding.

Torino looked a totally different team to start the second half, and twice came close to equalising in the same move. Firstly, Simone Zaza was denied by Marco Sportiello, and then Tomas Rincon curled the rebound wide of the target.

Iago Falque came on as Toro desperately searched for an equaliser, and his inch perfect free kick was met by Andrea Belotti who headed home to level things up.

With twelve minutes remaining, Torino took the lead as Cristian Ansaldi's deep cross was intelligently headed back by substitute Ola Aina, and Andrea Belotti volleyed in.

Toro could have extended their margin of victory as Iago Falque hit the post with a free kick, and Andrea Belotti missed a great one on one chance in stoppage time to seal his hat trick. However, the Granata still did enough to claim a fifth win from their last seven games.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Frosinone v Torino Preview

Torino will be looking to record a first away victory since November when they travel to face Frosinone on Sunday afternoon.

Tomas Rincon and Simone Zaza could both be in line to start after goal scoring cameo's in the victory against Chievo. Ola Aina, who picked up an injury in the warm up for that game has been included in the squad and could feature.

Frosinone are currently in 19th place having lost four of their last five home games, but picked up a creditable 0-0 draw at Genoa last weekend despite playing most of the game with ten men.

Prediction
Frosinone 0-1 Torino

Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Torino 3-0 Chievo

Torino secured a fifth consecutive Serie A home victory after three late goals secured a victory over a stubborn Chievo side.

Walter Mazzarri had named an unchanged starting eleven from the team who beat Atalanta last weekend, however Ola Aina was injured in the warm up and was replaced by Cristian Ansaldi.

The first half was devoid of any quality or any clear cut chances, however the struggling visitors did pose a threat on the counter attack but could not find a killer pass in the final third.

The Granata did not heed these warnings at the start of the second half, and Filip Đorđević should have given Chievo the lead, but the Serbian was twice denied by Salvatore Sirigu.

Simone Zaza came off the bench for Toro as they looked for the breakthrough, and he came close from a free kick that well saved by former Torino keeper Stefano Sorrentino.

With fourteen minutes remaining, Torino finally got the breakthrough, as captain Andrea Belotti broke his goal drought with a sensational long range strike.

In injury time, substitute Tomas Rincon doubled Toro's lead with a curling effort from just outside the area. Simone Zaza then added a third goal, virtually from the kick off, as Torino sealed all three points and a sixth consecutive clean sheet.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Torino v Chievo Preview

Torino will be looking to continue their impressive run of form when they face bottom of the table Chievo on Sunday afternoon.

After the impressive 2-0 victory against Atalanta, Walter Mazzarri may choose to name an unchanged starting eleven. However, youngster Vincenzo Millico who made his debut as a substitute in that match will be unavailable for selection due to injury.

Chievo have had a miserable season after starting the campaign with a three point deduction, and the Flying Donkeys have only won one of their twenty-five games this season.

Prediction
Torino 2-0 Chievo

Thursday, 28 February 2019

Torino 2-0 Atalanta

Torino moved into 6th place and reignited their Europa League hopes with an impressive 2-0 victory over Atalanta on Saturday afternoon.

Soualiho Meite, Daniele Baselli and Iago Falque all returned to the starting eleven as Toro faced a fellow European challenger.

Mid way through the first half, Atalanta had a chance to take the lead, but Gianluca Mancini was denied by Salvatore Sirigu. On the stroke of half time, it was Torino who took the lead as Armando Izzo poked home following a corner.

Toro then made a dream start to the second half as they doubled their lead within a minute, thanks to Iago Falque's clever toe poked finish.

Atalanta came close to reducing the deficit but Duvan Zupata was denied by Sirigu as the Granata defence held firm to earn their fifth consecutive clean sheet, and claim a vital three points.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Torino v Atalanta Preview

Torino host Atalanta on Saturday afternoon hoping to continue their recent good form as they continue to challenge for European qualification.

Koffi Djidji misses out through injury so Emiliano Moretti should continue in defence, whilst Tomas Rincon also misses out due to suspension.

Atalanta have qualified for the Europa League in the past two seasons, and are currently three points above Torino in the table and have won four of their last five away games in Serie A.

Prediction
Torino 1-1 Atalanta

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Napoli 0-0 Torino

Torino survived a first half onslaught as they somehow managed to hold Napoli to a 0-0 draw on Sunday evening.

Nicolas Nkoulou came back into the team in place of the injured Koffi Djidji whilst Alex Berenguer was surprisingly preferred to Iago Falque as the support to Andrea Belotti in attack.

Lorenzo Insigne had the first opportunity of the game but was denied by Salvatore Sirigu, whilst Arkadiusz Milik also had a great chance but put his effort wide of the target.

Napoli continued to create chances in the second half, with Sirigu twice denying Milik and Insigne hitting the post, but Toro were proving to be a bigger threat on the counter attack through the pace of Ola Aina.

Toro somehow managed to hold on and earn what could be a valuable point, whilst Napoli will wonder how they didn't manage to win the game.

Forza Toro

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Napoli v Torino Preview

Torino travel to Naples on Sunday evening looking to extend their mini unbeaten run and improve their chances of Europa League qualification.

Nicolas Nkoulou and Simone Zaza have both returned from suspension, whilst Daniele Baselli and Soualiho Meite will be pushing for recalls to the starting eleven.

Napoli have been formidable at home recently, winning their last five games in the league, but did travel to Zurich in midweek for the Europa League, so may feel some fatigue.

Prediction
Napoli 2-1 Torino

Wednesday, 13 February 2019

Torino 1-0 Udinese

It is believed that former New York Yankees pitcher Lefty Gomez first coined the phrase 'I'd rather be lucky than good' and Torino certainly lived up to that mantra on Sunday afternoon as they somehow emerged victorious.

As expected, Koffi Djidji and Iago Falque replaced the suspended Nicolas Nkoulou and Simone Zaza as Toro lined up in a 3-4-3 formation with Alex Berenguer earning a rare start.

Torino should have taken the lead when Sasa Lukic's corner found an unmarked Andrea Belotti, but his header was magnificently tipped over the bar by Juan Musso in the Udinese goal.

However the Granata did not have to wait long to open the scoring, as Cristian Ansaldi's accurate cross found Ola Aina who headed home his first goal for the club.

Udinese's best chance in the first half was from a set piece, but Rodrigo De Paul's long range free kick was easily dealt with by Salvatore Sirigu.

With fifteen minutes remaining, Udinese were awarded a penalty by VAR after Koffi Djidji was adjudged to have fouled Stefano Okaka. However, De Paul was denied from the spot following an outstanding save from Sirigu.

In the final minute of normal time, Udinese thought they had their equaliser as Stefano Okaka fired a low drive past Sirigu, however this time Toro were reprieved by VAR as Kevin Lasagna was adjudged to be in an offside position and interfering with play.

It was proving not to be Udinese's day, as in injury time, they somehow managed to hit both the bar and then the post in the same move as Torino, somehow, survived for three points.

Saturday, 9 February 2019

Torino v Udinese Preview

Torino host Udinese on Sunday afternoon looking to maintain their challenge for Europa League qualification.

Nicolas Nkoulou and Simone Zaza are both suspended, so should be replaced by Koffi Djidji and Iago Falque, whilst Daniele Baselli and Soualiho Meite will also be pushing for recalls.

Udinese had seen an upturn in their fortunes under new coach and former Toro defender Davide Nicola, however, they are win less in their last three Serie A matches. Perhaps more worryingly for the away side, the Zebrette's last away game was a 4-0 defeat against Sampdoria two weeks ago.

Prediction
Torino 2-1 Udinese

Thursday, 7 February 2019

SPAL 0-0 Torino

Torino once again failed to win consecutive Serie A matches as they could only draw 0-0 with SPAL on Sunday afternoon.

Toro made just one change from the team who beat Inter, as Emiliano Moretti replaced Koffi Djidji in defence.

Andrea Belotti came closest to giving Toro the lead in the first half, but his low drive from long range was tipped round the post by Emiliano Viviano.

At the other end, both Mirco Antenucci and Mohamed Fares had good chances for SPAL but put them over the bar.

In the second half, Armando Izzo almost opened the scoring for the second game in a row, but the defender headed wide of the target.

With twenty five minutes remaining, Torino were reduced to ten men when Nicolas Nkoulou was sent off after receiving a second yellow card.

Mattia Valoti should have given the home side all three points, but once again a player in blue and white missed the target, and 10 man Torino held on for a point.

Forza Toro

Saturday, 2 February 2019

SPAL v Torino Preview

Torino travel to Ferrara on Sunday afternoon looking for consecutive Serie A victories for only the second time this season.

Koffi Djidji may miss out after picking up a knock in training, although Soualiho Meïte is back in the squad following suspension.

SPAL came back from 2-0 down to beat Parma 3-2 last weekend, their first win since a shock victory at Roma in October. However, they have been difficult to beat at home in recent months, drawing their last five games at the Stadio Paolo Mazza.

Prediction
SPAL 0-1 Torino

Friday, 1 February 2019

Primavera Problems

One can argue that no team in the history of Italian football has a stronger bond between their first team and their Primavera (youth) team than Torino FC.

The main reason for this is, after the Superga disaster of 1949, that resulted in the death of the entire ‘Grande Torino’ team who had won five consecutive Serie A titles, it was the Primavera squad who had to fulfil the Granata’s remaining fixtures.

Despite this inextricable link between the youth team and the first team, in recent years, Torino have not managed to have many youth team products breakthrough and become regular first team players.

One of these reasons is of course the fact that in 2005, Torino were declared bankrupt, and as a result, all players were released from their contracts. These included players who began their careers at Toro, and have gone on to have successful Serie A careers elsewhere -Stefano Sorrentino, Federico Balzaretti and Fabio Quagliarella (who would later return to the club).

If not for bankruptcy, one of these players could have stayed at Torino for their entire careers, and been a bandiera, much like Francesco Totti at Roma.

In the years since bankruptcy, only one player who came through the Torino academy has gone on to make over 100 appearances for the first team - Angelo Ogbonna. Whilst the majority of these appearances came in Serie B, Ogbonna then made the move to cross city rivals Juventus after his first full season in Serie A, much to the dismay of Torino supporters.

In the current first team squad, both Vittorio Parigini and Simone Edera were born in the city, starred for the Primavera and then impressed whilst out on loan. However, neither player has made more than 2 starts in Serie A this season and therefore been unable to force their way into a regular starting birth.

With Torino still fighting for Europa League qualification this season, it would be a surprise to see these statistics change dramatically. However, should Toro fall out of the race for Europe, one would hope that Walter Mazzarri looks to the future when picking his starting eleven for the rest of the season. However, with Simone Edera completing a deadline day loan move to Bologna this now looks a remote possibility, although it is hoped he will finally manage to get regular game time in Serie A.

Torino’s proud history extends to it’s Primavera team, and no team in Italian football has won more League titles (9) or Coppa Italia’s (8) than Toro.

Much is expected of the latest star of the Torino Primavera team, Vincenzo Millico, who has scored an incredible 22 goals in 15 league appearances. The day after being named on the bench for the first team’s 1-0 victory over Inter, Millico captained the Primavera team to a 4-0 win over Palermo.

Vincenzo Millico
After a goalless first half, Millico produced a piece a magic that belied his inexperience by taking a quick free kick and delivering an inch perfect assist to find substitute Luca Petrungaro to open the scoring. Whilst Petrungaro went on to complete his hat trick, it was Millico who was the catalyst for the Granata, and he deservedly got on the score sheet himself in injury time. This impressive victory took Torino to the top of the Campionato Primavera 1 standings.

This past Saturday marked the 100 year anniversary of the birth of Valentino Mazzola, captain of the Grande Torino team. As part of the celebrations, Torino hosted a youth tournament for players in the Pulcini age group (born in 2008). The other teams involved were Venezia, Valentino’s former team, and Inter, who his son Sandro served with such distinction from 1960-1977.

There was however, a familiar name within the Torino squad - Valentino Mazzola, the eleven year old great-grandson of the former Torino captain who was also invited to play in the tournament.

The young Valentino Mazzola, flanked by Toro president Urbano Cairo and record goalscorer Paolo Pulici
Who knows, in 10 years time, Torino supporters may once again be cheering on a Mazzola from the stands.

But lets not put too much pressure on the kid.