January 16, 2017

Torino v AC Milan Asian Handicap Preview – Monday 16th January by @MarkOHaire

Torino v AC Milan – Stadio Olimpico di Torino at 19:45 live on BT Sport 3

There are sub-zero conditions forecast in Turin on Monday evening, as Torino take-on Milan for the second time in four days.

The two clubs squared off at the San Siro on Thursday night on Coppa Italia duty, with Milan coming from behind to progress and extend their unbeaten record against the Granata to 19 across all competitions – a run of results that began way back in November 2001.

Milan came into the weekend sitting pretty in fifth. The Rossoneri have a game in-hand over their top-half rivals and Vincenzo Montella’s men have suffered just two defeats in 15. It’s fair to say, Milan are performing above expectations.

Question marks on Milan

But Montella’s outfit required a late winner at San Siro in the last round to see off Cagliari and since being held by rivals Inter at the end of November, results and performances haven’t completely convinced.

The Rossoneri have beaten Empoli, Crotone and Cagliari but lost to Roma and drew against Atalanta. It’s their ability to pick up points against the lesser lights that’s kept Milan in the hunt for Champions League qualification.

Montella’s men are the lowest scorers in the top-eight and since the start of last season, just one of their 10 away triumphs have come against a top-half finisher or a team currently occupying the top-half this term (W1-D5-L6).

The visitors arrive at the Stadio Olimpico with Riccardo Montolivo still out long-term, while Mati Fernandez and Ignazio Abate are doubtful. Only one of Carlos Bacca and Gianluca Lapadula is likely to start in attack, but Mbaye Niang should return to the fold ahead of Andrea Bertolacci.

Torino bouncing back

Hosts Torino should see Emiliano Moretti replace Leandro Castan if the Brazilian defender is not able to overcome injury, but Sinisa Mihajlovic is expecting to have livewire forward Iago Falque back in the fold, leaving Juan Iturbe on the bench.

The Granata fell to three consecutive losses in early December, but defeats to Juventus and Napoli are understandable and Torino have since bounced back with four points from games against Genoa and Sassuolo, either side of the winter break.

However, it’s the home form of Mihajlovic’s men that makes them dangerous opposition for Milan on Monday. Torino have collected maximum points in six of their nine Stadio Olimpico outings – their only reverse in that spell coming against Juve in the derby when the Granata dominated proceedings.

Roma have already been beaten here and Lazio were held to a draw, whilst the exceptional form of Andrea Belotti should give the hosts plenty of hope of adding the Rossoneri to their Turin hit-list here.

The Asian Handicap betting angle

Belotti’s goal in midweek was his fourth in five games across all competitions, and his 15th of this season overall. Italy’s number one striker will again lead the line for the Granata, whom are boasting a shot and shots on-target ratio return of well over the 50% line when welcoming Serie A opposition.

In contrast, 10 top-flight clubs enjoy better performance data figures than Milan this term and sooner or later you feel that might begin to catch-up on the Rossoneri, possibly starting on Monday.

With that in mind, I’m keen to keep Torino onside and the 1.75 quotes on a scratch 0 start on the Asian Handicap betting line appear a little too generous here. The hosts have only lost 8/28 (29%) on their own patch since the beginning of 2015/16.

Asian Handicap Recommendation: Torino +/-0 (Draw No Bet) at 1.75

Prices correct at time of writing.

By @MarkOHaire

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