Palermo v Torino – Renzo Barbera at 19:45 live on BT Sport 1
Cash-strapped Palermo bagged three wins in their final four Serie A fixtures of 2015/16 to avoid relegation but the Rosanero look likely to spend another season battling against the drop (W1-D3-L3).
Surprisingly president Maurizio Zamparini has stuck by 37-year-old Roberto De Zerbi despite the slow start – last term the trigger-happy owner made nine managerial changes and during his career the ‘Manager Eater’ has sacked over 60 coaches.
Palermo under pressure
The hosts, notoriously poor travellers, picked up a point in Sampdoria before the international break to boost confidence but concernedly for De Zerbi, Palermo are firing in just over six shots per-game – a league-low – and facing over 18 attempts per-game on average.
Despite being dominated in the majority of their matches, the Rosanero have kept results reasonably competitive with six of their first seven outings featuring three goals or fewer. But with defensive midfielder Alessandro Gazzi suspended against his old club, the Sicilians will be without a key component here.
Elsewhere, Macedonian forward Ilija Nestorovski scored against Italy during the World Cup qualifiers last week and will hope that goal puts him in pole position to lead Palermo’s line with the home side struggling in the final third thus far.
The hosts have lost all three games at their Stadio Renzo Barbera base ‘to nil’, albeit against tough visitors Napoli, Sassuolo and Juventus. But with seven losses in their last eight when welcoming top-half teams, the trends certainly don’t suggest the Rosanero are strong enough to claim maximum points.
Troubles on Torino’s travels
However, Torino have triumphed in just 6/22 (27%) since the start of last season and although Sinisa Mihajlovic only arrived in the hot-seat during the summer, the Granata have continued their poor away form in 2016/17 (W1-D0-L2).
The visitors were held to a 0-0 draw at struggling Pescara in their most recent road trip but back-to-back victories at home to Roma and Fiorentina raised spirits before the international break and Il Toro can also welcome back Adem Ljajic from injury.
Torino have finished in the top-half in two of the past three campaigns and will have set their sights on a repeat this time around. And although Joe Hart dropped a clanger on his debut in the peninsula, Mihajlovic is adamant the English number one will prove a vital cog in their armoury.
Going away to Serie A’s basement battlers has tended to be profitable for Torino and the Granata W3-D3-L1 when visiting bottom-six since the start of last season. But it’s hard to really find the faith in an Asian Handicap play at such short prices considering the visitors have kept their sheets clean on just 3/22 (14%) away days.
Asian Goals line appeals
Six of those seven trips to bottom-six sides saw both sides score with four matches producing winners in the Over 2.5 Goals market. In fact, six of Il Toro’s past 11 visits to the same standard of opposition have delivered Over 3.5 Goals profit whilst 10 of their last 12 league outings against all opposition have broken the Over 2.5 Goals barrier.
Monday’s meeting pits together two clubs have kept a combined 7/44 (16%) shutouts in their respective home/away encounters since the beginning of 2015/16 and with Over 2.5 Goals collecting in 26/44 (59%) of that sample, I’m more than happy to support Over 2.25 Goals at 1.92 here.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Over 2.25 goals at 1.92
Prices correct at time of writing.
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