Torino welcome Italian champions Juventus to the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on Saturday night for the first Derby della Mole of the 2018/19 Serie A season.
II Toro have enjoyed a good start to the season as they sit in sixth place, but know the task facing them this weekend will be their toughest yet. Juve have been imperious this season and are in a very familiar position at the summit of Serie A. Having dropped points on one occasion this season – a 0-0 draw with Genoa – they will be looking to upkeep their unbeaten league record.
Check out 90min’s preview for Saturday’s clash below.
Where to Watch
II Toro boss Walter Mazzarri has the luxury of being able to pick from a fully fit squad for Saturday’s derby. They could well start with the same 11 that earned a credible draw against Milan at the San Siro last time out. Danger man Andrea Belotti will lead the line and be looking to add to his tally of five league goals this campaign.
Other notable starters will include ex-Tottenham man Iago Falque who has flourished since his move to Turin, he has developed an eye for goal and scored 12 league goals last season. Chelsea loanee Ola Aina is also expected to start at right wing back having started 12 of Torino’s 15 games so far.
Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri has far more problems to mull over than his opposite number. Injuries and suspensions have resulted in a depleted squad with Medhi Benatia, Andrea Barzagli and Juan Cuadrado all unavailable due to respective injuries. Portuguese right back Joao Cancelo is having a stellar first season in Italy following his summer move from Valencia, but is a doubt for Saturday due to a muscular injury.
21-year-old Uruguayan midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur has also caught the eye this season in midfield, keeping the likes of Emre Can out of the starting XI. However, he won’t take part in Derby della Mole as he is set to serve a one match ban.
Head to Head Record
The Turin clubs have a huge amount of history with both sides having periods of success. Torino are seven time Serie A champions but last got their hands on the trophy in 1976. Meanwhile Juventus have dominated Italy in recent times and have been crowned champions a staggering 36 times. Naturally, the two clubs have crossed paths many times, having played each other 156 times.
Juventus have nearly won half of those games, claiming 74 victories, being defeated on 38 occasions. However, if recent clashes are anything to go by, it doesn’t bode well for II Toro as they have only managed one victory in the last 20 meetings, losing 17 of them.
Mazzarri’s side have had an encouraging start to the current campaign as they currently sit in sixth place, occupying the final Europa League place. Despite only managing five victories this season, Torino have proved difficult to beat – losing just three times – which only Juve and Napoli can better. They head into Saturday’s clash off the back of a 0-0 draw away at Milan and would certainly be pleased to pick up another point against the runaway leaders.
The Old Lady have been in ominous form domestically, they have won 14 of their 15 games, drawing once at home to Genoa.
Before Wednesday, the Italian champions had recorded five straight victories without conceding a goal, however, they suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Swiss champions Young Boys in the Champions League which should have acted as a wake up call to a strong Allegri side which featured both Ronaldo and Dybala.
Despite losing during midweek, it is hard to overlook Juventus claiming all three points on Saturday considering they have only dropped two all season. The Old Lady will be looking for a strong reaction after their trip to Young Boys – with the Turin derby the perfect foil for some added motivation.
With Ronaldo and Dybala leading the line for Juve, goals are almost inevitable for the away side. They possess such an array of attacking talent that they should condemn Torino to what would be just their fourth defeat of the season.
Prediction: Torino 1-3 Juventus