Torino aim to move further away from the relegation zone with three points from the Lazio game, with the hosts in good spirits having taken four points from last two matches. The Biancocelesti dropped further behind their top 5 rivals by losing at home to Napoli and they now face a tricky tie at Stadio Olimpico in Turin.
Torino back in business
Unlike most other coaches in charge of newly-promoted sides, Giampiero Ventura opted against a defence-minded approach after leading Torino to Serie A, and that proved to be a very good decision. Granata in turn ensured survival without too many problems, while proving they can even match the league’s best sides on their day, and nobody was surprised by some scintillating showings this term as well. With the likes of Cerci and Immobile able to unlock just about any defence in Serie A, Torino have been scoring goals for fun from the off, and they have now registered a goal in each of their last five outings. Granata were the first team to end Roma’s amazing winning run, while they also held Milan and Inter to 2-2 and 3-3 draws respectively, while only losing to local rivals Juventus on home soil. And with the team in excellent spirits after the 4-1 triumph over Catania was followed by 1-1 draw at Genoa, they can even be considered favourites to defeat out-of-sorts Lazio on Sunday afternoon, especially with key player Danilo D’Ambrosio back to the side.
The Italy international returns from suspension, but Marcelo Larrondo and Cesare Bovo continue to miss out through injury.
Lazio no longer one of Italy’s top sides
Arguably one of the biggest clubs in Italy have largely struggled to affirm their status in recent years and we can now safely say Lazio are no longer a force to be reckoned with in Serie A, let alone Europe. With the club clearly operating on a tight budget, it is hardly surprising they have been unable to keep up with free-spending Juventus, Roma, Napoli and Fiorentina, and it is only a matter of time before boss Vladimir Petkovic gets the sack, even if he is hardly the one to blame for some under-par results. Lazio are now winless in last five Serie A games, but the interesting thing is that while they have lost last two home games, the Biancocelesti managed to hold Milan, Parma and Sampdoria to 1-1 draws on the road. However, that does not mean they will not have a difficult task against very good Torino side, even if star striker Miroslav Klose could return from a month-long spell on the sidelines. This should at least make Lazio more dangerous up front, although I seriously doubt their shaky defence will be able to stop of the likes of Cerci and Immobile from scoring.
Miroslav Klose and Giuseppe Biava are back in contention, but Alvaro Gonzalez is injured and Stefano Mauri is banned.
Torino have been pretty impressive at home this term, especially up front and they are likely to cause struggling Lazio all sorts of problems. Meanwhile, the Biancocelesti have no choice but to go for a win and the return of Miroslav Klose could aid their chances of getting something from this match.
Top pick: Over 2.5 goals 2.20 (6/5) @ Stan James
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score 1.91 (10/11) @ William Hill
Alternative pick 2: Draw 3.25 (9/4) @ BetVictor