High-flying Torino will be looking to keep their European dream alive when they host out-of-sorts Bologna, with the hosts now sitting mere two points behind Europa League positions. Meanwhile, Felsinei are just one point above the relegation zone following the home defeat to Udinese and they have little to hope for ahead of the trip to Stadio Olimpico.
Immobile and Cerci scored more goals than Bologna
Having finally returned to the elite division in the summer of 2012, Torino were predicted a difficult relegation fight, but they instead escaped the survival battle altogether thanks to some impressive displays. The club then managed to make several excellent signings last summer, but it was the arrival of talented forward Ciro Immobile from local rivals Juventus that proved one of the best deal’s in club’s recent history. The 23-year-old established an amazing attacking partnership with Alessio Cerci, with the duo already notching 21 goals between them, which is more than entire Bologna team have scored this season. And with other areas of the team in full working order, Granata have been recording some amazing results this term and they have no desire to stop any time soon. While also doing well on the road, beating Sassuolo 2-0 and holding Milan to a 1-1 draw in last two away fixtures, Torino have been absolutely brilliant at their Stadio Olimpico, winning four of last five matches there and only sharing spoils with Fiorentina. With that in mind, struggling Bologna look set to become their latest victim.
Alessandro Gazzi remains doubtful with an ankle ligament problem, whereas Marcelo Larrondo is out through a foot injury.
Alessandro Diamanti leaves
Bologna chiefs probably found Guangzhou’s lucrative offer for star player Alessandro Diamanti too good to turn down, but that decision could have a huge effect on the outcome of the season. The Italy international was by far the most influential player in the team and this is clearly a bad time for Felsinei to stay without their star player. Even with Diamanti in the side, Bologna have struggled to realise their potential, having slipped to the danger zone after winning just one of last twelve league matches. Felsinei are winless in last five and completely out of confidence following the 2-0 home defeat to fellow strugglers Udinese. And with games against Torino, Milan, Roma and Verona next, Davide Ballardini will find it hard to steer his team away from the relegation zone. The visitors will not only be without their main creative outlet after the departure of Diamanti, but will also miss important attackers Panagiotis Kone and Davide Moscardelli, so I really don’t see how they are going to prevent red-hot Torino from winning this game.
Panagiotis Kone and Davide Moscardelli miss out through suspension, whereas Marek Cech, Francesco Della Rocca, Michele Pazienza and Robert Acquafresca are out injured.
Torino appear to be on top of their game at the moment and in-form strikers Immobile and Cerci should prove a handful for Bologna defence. Meanwhile, the visitors will be severely weakened up front by the absence of Diamanti and Kone, so comfortable home win appears on the cards.
Top pick: Home win 1.67 (2/3) @ Betfred
Alternative pick 1: Torino to win to nil 2.62 (13/8) @ Paddy Power
Alternative pick 2: Torino/Torino 2.60 (8/5) @ William Hill