Mar 2, 2021 at 5.30pm UK

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

:Headline: Preview: Lazio vs. Torino - prediction, team news, lineups: ID:437241: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Tuesday's Serie A clash between Lazio and Torino, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Lazio will seek to get back on track for a top four-place on Tuesday evening, as they hope to host virus-hit Torino to Stadio Olimpico.

While Turin's second side are dealing with the consequences of a COVID-19 outbreak within their squad - which saw their training ground closed and previous fixture postponed - the home side must prepare as usual, despite the possibility the game may not go ahead.

Match preview

Engulfed in speculation and rumour throughout the past few days, relegation battlers Torino have confirmed 10 positive COVID-19 cases in their camp - eight of whom are senior squad members - but also that their latest round of testing has returned negative tests for everyone else.

As a consequence, the Granata's trip to Rome hangs in the balance, as they are set to undergo another round of tests ahead of the game to determine whether more positive cases will appear.

After those not quarantining returned to training for individual sessions at the weekend, the fixture's fate will effectively be decided by local health authorities, who previously decided to postpone their Friday night clash with Sassuolo to March 17th. As of Tuesday morning, the Piedmontese side remained in Turin amid disagreements between sporting and public health bodies.

In the unlikely event the game proceeds as planned, Torino coach Davide Nicola will be without numerous key men, including star striker Andrea Belotti, wing-back Wilfried Singo and central-defensive mainstay Bremer, plus several others, posing the so-far unbeaten boss numerous selection headaches.

Now in 17th place, just five points above the drop zone, Nicola's men are far from out of the woods yet, but post-match celebrations after edging a 'six-pointer' with Cagliari last time they took the field - passionately led by the Toro-supporting coach - were telling of their joy and relief.

Demonstrating all the greater grit and organisation apparent since previous manager Marco Giampaolo's disastrous reign came to an end last month, and with momentum building, the Granata were dealt a hammer blow this week as news emerged that the virus had struck.

A Lazio side rattled by their desperate Champions League defeat last week sought to bounce back immediately when they travelled to meet mid-table Bologna on Saturday, but were given a sharp shock at Dall'Ara, as Lazio legend Sinisa Mihajlovic led his current club to an unlikely 2-0 victory.

Perhaps still feeling the effects of their Champions League collapse at home to Bayern Munich, top scorer Ciro Immobile's weak first-half penalty was saved by Bologna goalkeeper Lukasz Skorupski and just minutes later Bologna took an unexpected lead, which they would never relinquish.

Though Simone Inzaghi's men had surged back into the race for a top-four place in recent weeks, they have now surrendered such momentum following back-to-back losses.

Not so long ago the form side in Serie A, the Biancocelesti had been virtually unstoppable since the turn of the year, with eight wins and two defeats from their previous ten outings.

The capital club had strung together six consecutive victories, bringing them back into the conversation regarding European qualification for next term, so will want to ensure that this recent stumble does not become an unedifying fall, as happened late last season.

Undoubtedly, it has become apparent that Lazio are short of strength in depth defensively, as injured absentees Luiz Felipe and Stefan Radu have left the Biancocelesti rearguard looking increasingly unstable. However, such problems pale into insignificance when compared to Torino's current woes, so the Roman side will expect nothing less than a repeat of their success in the reverse fixture earlier this term - a 4-3 thriller in Turin.

Lazio Serie A form: WWWLWL
Lazio form (all competitions): WWLWLL

Torino Serie A form: DDDDDW

Team News

Torino's lengthy list of quarantining absentees includes captain Andrea Belotti, wing-back Wilfried Singo and central-defender Bremer, plus Alessandro Buongiorno, Nicola Murru, Karol Linetty, Daniele Baselli and former Cameroon captain Nicolas Nkoulou.

Head coach Davide Nicola's preparations have inevitably been thrown into disarray by the COVID-19 outbreak and subsequent suspension of training, so - if the game goes ahead - his task in fielding a competitive XI will be a tall one. There is even some speculation that primavera players may be required to make up the numbers on Tuesday.

If available, Rolando Mandragora would be expected to continue in midfield, having taken the place of Linetty in recent games following his arrival on loan from city rivals Juventus. Meanwhile, Simone Verdi and Federico Bonazzoli would compete to join current incumbent Simone Zaza up front, deputising for leading man Belotti.

Lazio have first-choice defenders Stefan Radu and Luiz Felipe out through injury, so Wesley Hoedt and Patric are set to continue in the back three, though Mateo Musacchio - who featured in the disastrous display versus Bayern - is also an option.

Wing-back Manuel Lazzari returned from suspension to reclaim his spot in Simone Inzaghi's familiar 3-5-2 formation at the weekend, while Gonzalo Escalante now also comes back from a ban to contend with Lucas Leiva for a midfield spot.

Following his penalty miss at Dall'Ara, Capocannoniere Ciro Immobile has scored only once in his past five matches, but should start alongside his favoured foil Joaquin Correa in attack - despite Inzaghi talking of rotating his resources after the Bologna defeat.

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Reina; Patric, Hoedt, Acerbi; Lazzari, Milinkovic-Savic, Escalante, Alberto, Marusic; Immobile, Correa

Torino possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Izzo, Lyanco, Rodriguez; Vojvoda, Lukic, Mandragora, Rincon, Ansaldi; Verdi, Zaza

We say: Lazio 2-0 Torino

Should the authorities see fit for this game to go ahead, there is only one likely outcome that a depleted Torino team can expect.

Lazio are in need of a tonic, to wash away the troubles of last week and keep themselves in contention for a return to European competition next season. If they can stem a recent flood of self-inflicted defensive errors, then the Biancocelesti have more than enough firepower available to punish a makeshift Toro team at the Olimpico.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals 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.Under 3.5:data

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last updated article - 2021-03-02 17:07:58:
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