Udinese will be hoping to make amends for the unfortunate defeat at San Siro when they take on Torino, a team that are unbeaten in last seven league fixtures. With just five points separating the two sides in the overall standings, there is every chance we will see a very interesting match at Friuli.
Friuli becoming a real fortress
With several very important players leaving the club in the summer, and a severe injury crisis hitting the team in the opening exchanges, Udinese just couldn’t cope with the hectic schedule in the first part of the season. As the new signings slowly began to gel and the team were eliminated from the Europa League, the Zebrette started showing a considerable improvement in Serie A, escaping the danger zone and climbing to the top half of the standings. Udinese have been especially impressive of late, beating Inter, Fiorentina and Siena at home, while losing to Juventus and Milan away. And while the Zebrette can only blame themselves for the heavy defeat in Turin, they did not deserve to lose at San Siro, with the Rossoneri scoring the winning goal from a non-existent penalty deep into the injury time. The unfair loss at the weekend is going to make the Friulani even more determined to extend their winning run at home to four matches, and it will be up to Torino to try and prevent them from realizing their objective.
Andrea Lazzari and Danilo are out through suspension, while Zeljko Brkic and Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu are also unavailable.
Torino continue to impress
While Torino did really well to return to the top flight, club chiefs were well aware that the squad needed to be seriously reinforced if Granata were going to avoid the drop. Club officials did a great job by signing a number of seasoned Serie A footballers and it is the shrewd dealings in the summer transfer window that have helped the team stay well above the danger zone. While Torino somewhat struggled in the first part of the season, they embarked on a great run of results just before the New Year and are now on a seven-match unbeaten run. The easy fixture list certainly played a part in the promising results, and with the team lacking the quality to remain in the top half of the standings, it is only a matter of time before their unbeaten run came to an abrupt end. Torino did not lose any of their last four fixtures on the road, but having had suffered three straight defeats prior to that, there is every chance they will find it hard to match in-form Udinese at Friuli.
Key players Angelo Ogbonna and Rolando Bianchi are injury doubts, with the defender closer to making his return.
Udinese are clearly in great form at the moment and having beaten Fiorentina, Inter and Siena in their last three home fixtures, they can be trusted to see off Torino as well. Granata, too, have been doing great of late, but their unbeaten run will be put to a serious test in Udine.
Top pick: Home win 2.05 (21/20) @ William Hill
Alternative pick 1: Draw at half-time 2.15 (23/20) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Di Natale to score 2.40 (7/5) @ Sportingbet
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