Torino v Juventus – Stadio Olimpico di Torino at 14:00 live on BT Sport 2
It’s derby day in Turin on Sunday as bitter rivals Torino and Juventus lock horns at the Stadio Olimpico. And there’s every reason to believe this weekend’s contest will entertain.
This is a fixture that Juventus have dominated over the past 20 years. The Old Lady have taken top honours in 15 of the last 20 meetings, including nine of the past 10. Torino have claimed a solitary derby success since 1995.
Old Lady struggles
However, Max Allegri’s men have stuttered of late. The Bianconeri’s midweek Champions League triumph over no-hopers Dynamo Zagreb saw the visitors keep their sheets clean for only the third occasion in 12 since October’s
In that same sample, Juventus shutout struggling Pescara as well as Lyon on European duty. But the Old Lady were distinctly second best in France and required a penalty save from Gigi Buffon to keep Lyon on bay at hat night.
On Sunday they take on their old adversaries without three of their first-choice back-five. Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli and Dani Alves are all out injured – Mehdi Benatia’s been hit and miss since arriving in Turin, Patrice Evra’s been
filling in at centre-half and Giorgio Chiellini hasn’t looked himself of late.
A fortnight ago the Bianconeri were abysmal when suffering a third loss in six Serie A away games at Genoa. Juve shipped three first-half goals for the first time in domestic action since 2005 and that defensive fragility could prove their
undoing on Sunday afternoon.
However, the Serie A champions remain four points clear at the top of the tree as they bid for a sixth successive title and are also the only European club to top their Champions League pool whilst leading their domestic league.
Juve’s goal threat
If injuries are biting at the back, further forward Allegri’s delighted to see Paulo Dybala return to the fold. With Mario Mandzukic and Gonzalo Higuain also fit and firing, the Old Lady shouldn’t have a problem in grabbing a goal or two here.
Juventus have only failed to score in four of 26 road trips in Serie A since the start of last season and with Torino managing only five clean sheets at the Olimpico across the same sample, it’s almost impossible to oppose the Bianconeri getting on the scoresheet.
Goals on the agenda
But rather than focus on the visitors, I’m keen to get Over 2.5 Goals onboard at a bulbous 2.10. It’s a selection that’s proven profitable in each of Juventus’ past six league dates, as well as 16/26 (62%) on their travels since the beginning of 2015/16.
And Sunday’s derby pits together two of the top-three highest goalscorers sides in Italy this season. Collectively the two clubs have already notched 63 league goals in their 30 matches, each scoring at a rate of over 2.00 goals per-game.
The past meetings have seen both sides score and despite defeat at Sampdoria ending a four-match winning streak last weekend, Torino turn up with one of their best teams in decades.
Torino at full throttle
Star striker Andrea Belotti has signed a new contract and will lead the line alongside, Iago Falque and Adam Ljajic – the Granata’s fabulous front-three have performed superbly this season with the Bulls notching 19 goals in seven unbeaten home fixtures (W5-D2- L0).
The hosts have already beaten Roma (3-1) and drawn with Lazio (2-2) in front of their home supporters and Sinisa Mihajlovic’s men have been heavily involved in goal-heavy games since the start of the campaign.
Eight of Torino’s past 10 Serie A outings have featured at least three goals – the other two produced exactly two goals – and 10 of the last 11 Olimpico games have also broken the two-goal barrier.
The Granata will sense Bianconeri blood and we should expect a full throttle performance from the home side on Sunday, and with it, plenty of goals too.
Asian Handicap Recommendation: Over 2.5 Goals at 2.10
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