Sunday’s Serie A action closes out with a tasty-looking encounter between Torino and Roma at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino. Let’s look at our match preview for this contest.
After a stuttering two-game start to the new campaign, Ivan Juric’s men have freed themselves from the shackles in the last two rounds. Nemanja Radonjic’s stunning stoppage-time winner first fired Torino to a last-gasp 1-0 home win over newly-promoted Genoa on matchday three before the same player stole the spotlight in Salerno earlier this week.
Indeed, the Serbian winger notched up a brace to inspire Torino to an overwhelming 3-0 victory against Salernitana on Monday. Another superb defensive display at the Stadio Arechi marked their third clean sheet of the 2023/24 Serie A campaign. With only pacesetters Inter matching Granata’s shutouts tally, Torino could prove a tough nut to crack.
However, Roma won’t shy away from the challenge, especially after last weekend’s rampant home performance against Empoli. Jose Mourinho’s side headed into that fixture seeking amends for a three-game winless Serie A start (D1, L2) and excelled. Paulo Dybala’s match-winning performance propelled Giallorossi to an overwhelming 7-0 victory at the Stadio Olimpico.
Marquee summer arrival Romelu Lukaku also got off the mark in the thumping win. The Belgian striker picked up where he left off in Roma’s opening Europa League outing on Thursday, netting a second-half winner in a hard-fought 2-1 triumph at Sheriff Tiraspol on Thursday. With momentum bursting at the seams, the visitors will make this journey north in high spirits.
With newcomers Calgiari and Genoa the only sides to have paid the visit to Turin this season, it’s barely a surprise Juric’s lads have yet to concede a league goal on home turf. However, barring Radonjic’s superb finish against the latter, Torino failed to hit the net in those meetings, maintaining their perennial scoring problems.
That’s an ominous sign for Torino, as they’ve lost their last two home league clashes against Roma without scoring. Speaking of Torino’s woes in the front third, it’s been almost a year since Granata last bagged 2+ home league goals against a side still in Serie A, doing so against Milan in October 2022.
Player to Watch: Nemanja Radonjic
The in-form winger has racked up three goals in his last two Serie A appearances, as many as he had in his previous 30 club outings beforehand. The spotlight will be on him this weekend.
Routing an out-of-sorts Empoli is one thing, but penetrating Torino’s steely backline is a whole different story. Not that Roma have struggled to score in Turin down the years. Since a scoreless draw in 2007, they have got on the scoresheet on 12 consecutive visits to Torino. But they netted more than once on just three occasions during that run.
Things will unlikely change on Sunday, given the visitors’ long-standing scoring problems on hostile turf. Mourinho’s men have failed to net multiple goals on their last ten Serie A travels. Then, it’s unsurprising they only won once in that period, though that solitary win came against none other than Torino.
Player to Watch: Paulo Dybala
After starting on the bench against Sheriff, the Argentine forward will probably regain his place in the frontline. He put on a show against Empoli last weekend, slotting home an early penalty before bagging a brilliant solo goal.
Torino will lack several first-team regulars for this encounter, with Mergim Vojvoda, Ivan Ilic, and Koffi Djidji still in the treatment room with injuries.
As for Roma, Marash Kumbulla, Tammy Abraham, and Renato Sanches are unavailable for selection. Mourinho still waits for the news about Chris Smalling and Lorenzo Pellegrini, who have recently struggled with minor fitness problems.
Torino vs Roma Potential Lineups
Torino (3-4-2-1): Vanja Milinkovic-Savic; Perr Schuurs, Alessandro Buongiorno, Ricardo Rodriguez; Raoul Bellanova, Adrien Tameze, Samuele Ricci, Valentino Lazaro; Nikola Vlasic, Nemanja Radonjic; Duvan Zapata.
Roma (3-5-2): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Diego Llorente, Evan Ndicka; Kristensen, Leandro Paredes, Bryan Cristante, Houssem Aouar, Leonardo Spinazzola; Paulo Dybala, Andrea Belotti.
Torino vs Roma Prediction
This encounter has all the makings of a tepid contest. Both managers are known for their conservative approach, especially the Torino boss. There’s a feeling that whoever opens the scoring would probably waltz away with three points. But we can envisage a share of the spoils.
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