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Preview: Torino vs. Juventus - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Torino vs. Juventus - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole provides team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Serie A encounter between Torino and Juventus.
By , Senior Reporter | 9mo

Juventus make the short trip to face Torino having put together a 15-game unbeaten streak, and Massimiliano Allegri's side head into the weekend with an eight-point lead at the top of the Serie A standings.

Torino are sitting in sixth position, and Walter Mazzarri will likely be delighted with any positive return from Saturday's Derby della Mole.


Torino


Torino have not ended a season in the top six of the Serie A table since 1992, but that is where Il Toro find themselves after 15 games and heading towards the New Year break.

Mazzarri has guided his team to just five wins in the league this season, but losing just three times has allowed Torino to take advantage of the inconsistencies of the teams around them in the standings.

A defeat to Parma in the second week of November had the potential to derail what had been a positive start to the campaign, but Mazzarri's side have responded with five points from their last three outings.

Torino travelled to San Siro to face AC Milan last weekend knowing that defeat would leave them seven points off the top four, but a goalless draw has at least kept the club in contention with their more illustrious rivals.

There will be an acknowledgement that just three points separate the club from 12th-placed Fiorentina, although that could play into Torino's favour, with Mazzarri able to ensure that his players maintain their performance levels heading into a crucial part of the season.

Andrea Belotti remains Torino's main man in attack, but the Italy international has scored just once in his last four appearances and two of his other four goals for the season came in the same match.

The strongest part of Torino's game has been in defence, and Chelsea will be delighted that loanee Ola Aina has featured regularly on the left flank and that the 22-year-old impressed on a big stage against Milan last week.

Torino have a tough run of fixtures with Lazio, Fiorentina and Roma all to come in their next six games, but any positive result against their neighbours would set the team up perfectly for that upcoming period.

Recent form: DWLDWD
Recent form (all competitions): WLDWWD


Juventus


Juventus are well on their way to another Serie A title, but Wednesday's defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League will serve as a reminder to Allegri that he cannot take anything for granted.

The Italian giants were still able to finish top of a group which also included Manchester United and Valencia, but Allegri will be concerned that his team have shown signs of weakness over the past five weeks.

However, Allegri will not necessarily panic due to the cushion that has been established in the league, and their upcoming games should sharpen the focus of a side who have still won all but three of their matches in all competitions this season.

Juventus have also gone 414 minutes without conceding a goal in Serie A, and the next aim will be to progress that past 500 minutes with a shutout against a team who are located just six miles away.

Cristiano Ronaldo has called on Lionel Messi to join him in Italy, but the Portuguese superstar is currently going through a poor run of form with just one goal coming from his last four appearances.

The re-emergence of Mario Mandzukic as a key man in Turin has proven key for Juventus, with the Croatian netting four important strikes since the start of November, including the winner in last weekend's 1-0 triumph over Inter Milan.

However, Juventus have not necessarily been full of goals this season, with Allegri's side having not netted more than three times in any of their 15 games in the top flight.

That record matters little when Juventus continue to churn out clean sheets, but Allegri will want to see improvements in all aspects of their game given their setback in Switzerland earlier this week.

Recent form: WWWWWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWWWL


Team News


Emre Can is expected to be handed a start by Allegri, with Rodrigo Bentancur having to sit out the game through suspension.

Paulo Dybala should return in place of Douglas Costa having been rested in midweek, while Giorgio Chiellini is likely to be restored to the team ahead of Daniele Rugani.

Joao Cancelo, Alex Sandro and Blaise Matuidi should also find themselves back in the side after not starting against Young Boys.

Aina may miss out for Torino - despite his strong showing versus Milan - with Cristian Ansaldi having recovered from injury.

Mazzarri must choose between Roberto Soriano and Daniele Baselli, with the latter allegedly carrying a knock.

Torino possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Izzo, Nkoulou, Djidji; Silvestri, Meite, Rincon, Ansaldi; Baselli, Falque; Belotti

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Can, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Ronaldo, Mandzukic


Head To Head

Juventus have emerged victorious in seven of their last eight matches against Torino, a period which has also included 21 goals.

Torino have not prevailed in this fixture since April 2015 when Matteo Darmian and Fabio Quagliarella scored in a comeback victory.

That triumph represented Torino's first derby success over Juventus in 20 years.



We say: Torino 1-3 Juventus

Torino will fancy their chances of taking at least a point off the league leaders having lost just three games this season, but it is very rare that Juventus suffer back-to-back defeats and we do not feel that will be the case here.


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