Sunday, February 28
Jan 22, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
Viola (31' pen.), Lapadula (49')
Glik (90+5')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Zaza (51', 90+3')
Linetty (37'), Zaza (45+2'), Baselli (90+1')

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

:Headline: Preview: Benevento vs. Torino - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:431181: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Friday's Serie A clash between Benevento and Torino, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Concluding the first half of a so-far disastrous Serie A campaign, Torino travel to overachieving Benevento on Friday under new management.

Incoming boss Davide Nicola will be looking for a quick response, as Il Toro head to Campania some eight points and seven places behind their modest opponents.

Match preview

Under the hapless reign of former manager Marco Giampaolo, who was finally given his marching orders earlier this week, Torino have become mired in a relegation battle and are currently 18th - just a point off the foot of the table.

The Granata have recorded just two wins in Serie A this season, conceding 35 goals - at a rate of nearly two per game. They also crashed out of the Coppa Italia last-16 in midweek, having pushed Milan all the way to extra time and penalties.

Last week's insipid performance in a goalless draw with ten-man Spezia marked the point of no return for Giampaolo though, and ultimately convinced the club hierarchy to bring in former Udinese and Genoa coach Davide Nicola.

With a change in attitude required even more than a tactical overhaul - the Granata had tightened up their leaky defence somewhat over the past month - Nicola's appointment comes as they are set to face fellow strugglers Fiorentina, Genoa and Cagliari soon after they visit promoted Benevento.

Born just southwest of Turin, Nicola is a life-long Torino fan and has earned a reputation as a coach that can rescue clubs from precarious situations - notably Crotone's miraculous comeback in 2016-17 and Genoa's escape from the drop last term.

Getting the best from some talented underperformers back at his boyhood club will be his first task in charge - starting with Friday night's engagement down south.

Though their most recent results have caused coach Pippo Inzaghi some serious concern, his Benevento side still sit just outside the top half of the Serie A standings - far removed from where most pundits predicted the runaway Serie B champions would be at the halfway point of the season.

Successive 4-1 defeats - perhaps understandably against Atalanta, but more worryingly against fellow promoted outfit Crotone - have frustrated Inzaghi, who demands dedication to overcome the squad's technical deficiencies.

In particular, the legendary goal-poacher drew attention to his team's penalty-box profligacy in recent matches - with 17 shots to three against somehow ending up in a heavy defeat to the league's bottom side. Similarly wayward shooting versus bigger fishes such as Sassuolo and Milan has also undermined the Stregoni's attempts to pick up further points.

Benevento's home record so far is significantly worse than a healthy points haul while on the road and they face Torino with the top flight's second-worst defensive record since the turn of the year.

Still, they return to Stadio Ciro Vigorito this week on a run of three wins and three losses from their past six outings and Inzaghi's progressive approach - spearheaded by the likes of experienced campaigners Gianluca Lapadula and Perparim Hetemaj - will see them going all-out for a successful end to the first half of the season.

Benevento Serie A form: WWLWLL

Torino Serie A form: DDWDLD
Torino form (all competitions): DWDLDD

Team News

Given such a short turnaround since his appointment this week, Torino coach Davide Nicola may opt for continuity rather than immediate revolution. If the former Granata defender does so, his three-man defence will comprise Lyanco, Bremer and Armando Izzo in front of Salvatore Sirigu in goal.

Wing-back Mergim Vojvoda is out injured, alongside forward Federico Bonazzoli - so Simone Verdi is favourite to support Andrea Belotti in attack.

Hosts Benevento are set to be without several attacking options, as Marco Sau (suspended) joins injured Roberto Insigne and Gabriele Moncini on the sidelines.

Midfield regular Pasquale Schiattarella and full-back Gaetano Letizia are also injured for Pippo Inzaghi's team, so Iago Falque and experienced defender Luca Caldirola could reinforce the starting XI.

On-loan Gianluca Caprari is tipped to bolster the attack, supporting Gianluca Lapadula up front.

Benevento possible starting lineup:
Montipo; Improta, Caldirola, Glik, Barba; Hetemaj, Ionita, Dabo; Falque, Caprari; Lapadula

Torino possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Izzo, Lyanco, Bremer; Singo, Lukic, Rincon, Linetty, Rodriguez; Verdi, Belotti

We say: Benevento 1-2 Torino

The combination of Torino's growing defensive resilience and a motivated incoming manager could be enough to tip the scales of a finely-balanced encounter at the Vigorito.

Having lost by three goals in consecutive games - plus facing important absences in the final third - Benevento may fall victim to Il Toro if Andrea Belotti can finally return to form.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Away:data

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last updated article - 2021-01-20 15:23:41:
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