Juventus - Torino Preview: Bianconeri looking to bounce back against fierce rivals
The Old Lady will be desperate to get back to winning ways and prolong the derby agony for the Granata but, Giampiero Ventura's men will not go down without a fight at the weekend
By Craig Turnbull
Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini
L'steiner, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah Vucinic, Giovinco
Darmian, Glik, Ogbonna, D'Ambrosio
Cerci, Bianchi, Meggiorini, Santana
This season sees the return of the Derby della Mole - one of Italy's fiercest rivalries - when the league leaders take on 14th-placed Torino at Juventus Stadium on Saturday.
The hosts suffered their second defeat in four league games against AC Milan at San Siro last weekend, but Inter were unable to take advantage of the slip-up having lost to Parma on Monday, ensuring there is still a two-point gap at the top with second-placed Napoli.
Juve could make four changes to the team that lost to the Rossoneri. Martin Caceres is struggling with an ankle problem which may give the opportunity for Giorgio Chiellini to fill the role on the left side of the back three.
Another South American who looks set to miss out is Arturo Vidal. The Chilean has a groin strain which could give Paul Pogba the chance to demonstrate his capabilities in the midfield alongside Andrea Pirlo and Claudio Marchisio.
Mauricio Isla - who had a torrid time against Milan in the last fixture as he not only gave away the penalty which Robinho scored, but was also booked at half-time - could be sacrificed for Switzerland international Stephan Lichtsteiner.
In attack, there has been much speculation about whether Athletic Bilbao's Fernando Llorente will be making his way to Turin, but for now, the responsibility for goals lies with Mirko Vucinic while Sebastian Giovinco could be preferred to Fabio Quagliarella.
The Granata, meanwhile, are expected to make a host of changes to the side that lost 2-0 to Siena in the Coppa Italia. Coach Giampiero Ventura rested the bulk of his preferred starting XI in midweek, so expect to see normality restored with Jean-Francois Gillet back in goal, while Kamil Glik, Angelo Ogbonna and Danilo D'Ambrosio return to line-up in defence.
Further up the park Migjen Basha and Alessandro Gazzi provide defensive cover in the middle with Alessio Cerci and Mario Santana expected to replace Giuseppe Vives and Gianluca Sansone on the wings. Top goalscorer Rolando Bianchi and Riccardo Meggiorini should deputise for Alen Stevanovic and Alessandro Sgrigana.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus have not lost their last 12 games against Torino, having won eight and drawn four.
- The Bianconeri have not conceded to the Granata in their last six matches which dates back to 2002.
- Giorgio Chiellini (pictured, right) made the difference in the last clash between the two sides, his headed goal gave Juve a 1-0 victory back in 2009.
- Torino inflicted Juventus' heaviest ever defeat when they beat them 8-0 almost 100 years ago in 1913.
- The Granata have not beat la Vecchia Signora since 1995 but on that occasion, they won 2-1.
- Giampiero Ventura's side have been solid away from home this season. In seven matches, they have only lost once on the road and that was a 2-0 defeat to Roma.
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Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 3-0 Torino
- 25.81 %
Juventus 2-0 Torino
- 17.74 %
Juventus 8-0 Torino
- 9.43 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Sep 29, 2013||Torino 0 - Juventus 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 28, 2013||Torino 0 - Juventus 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Dec 1, 2012||Juventus 3 - Torino 0|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Mar 7, 2009||Torino 0 - Juventus 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Oct 25, 2008||Juventus 1 - Torino 0|
|Dec 18, 2013||Juventus 3 - Avellino 0||ITAC|
|Dec 15, 2013||Juventus 4 - Sassuolo 0||ITA1|
|Dec 11, 2013||Galatasaray 1 - Juventus 0||UCL|
|Dec 6, 2013||Bologna 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Juventus 1 - Udinese 0||ITA1|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
|-||Valerio Di Cesare||Defender|
There is perhaps question marks over his temperament and attitude but, when it comes to ability, there is none. The young Frenchman has demonstrated already this season what he is capable of and provides that little bit of unpredicatbility which can often unsettle defences. He is more than an adequate replacement for Vidal, if the Chilean is not declared fit in time for the match and will be determined to show what he can do if given the chance.
If the rumours are to be believed, then, this promising defender has caught the attention of Manchester United's Sir Alex Ferguson. The Italy international is the heart of the defence for the Granata, being calm and composed on the ball and shows positional awareness as well as being good in the tackle. The visitors have demonstrated a strong rearguard on their travels having conceded only six goals in seven matches and this is in no small part down to the centre-back's performances.
It's been 17 years since the Granata tasted success against the Bianconeri, but the hosts' form has been indifferent of late and there may not be a better time for Giampiero Ventura's men to play the Old Lady. Goals are often at a premium when these two sides meet and it wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility to see another low-scoring affair here.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed