Torino v Chievo – Preview: Neighbouring mid-table sides fight for form

Date: 6th February 2016 at 10:16am
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benassi immobile belotti torinoWith only one victory achieved since the start of 2016 for both Torino and Chievo, the upcoming clash at the Stadio Olimpico on Sunday provides a chance for either team to escape their recent slump.

The 11th placed hosts are just a whisker ahead of the travelling Gialloblu with 28 points, while Rolando Maran’s club is only one point behind in the Serie A standings despite suffering three straight league losses.

Giampiero Ventura’s Granata had occupied second place in an undefeated start to their season before facing the sixth placed Flying Donkeys in their previous encounter in September, and Lucas Castro delivered the fatal blow in a 1-0 victory at the Stadio Marcantonio Bentegodi to put an end to Torino’s impressive form.

Ever since, both clubs have been far less impressive and the last time either tasted victory was against promoted sides as Chievo defeated Bologna 1-0 thanks to Simone Pepe while Torino were inspired to a 4-2 result over Frosinone thanks to the return of Ciro Immobile.

In their 23 match history of playing against one another, Torino maintain the advantage with 10 victories and just five defeats against the Gialloblu, but have shared the spoils in eight draws.

The victory for the Flying Donkeys achieved in September was the first one in eight successive encounters against Il Toro, but doing so again will be far more difficult for Maran’s depleted squad this time around.

Chievo are still trying to adjust to life after the departure of Alberto Paloschi to Swansea, and have failed to score in their difficult previous two matches against Juventus and Inter since.

Furthermore, the visitors are ailed with plenty of injuries sustained in January by Alessandro Gamberini, Riccardo Meggiorini, Perparim Hetemaj, and Antonio Floro Flores who all join Mariano Izco on the absentees list.

Torino will look to take advantage of the wounded opponents with Andrea Belotti leading the charge since his inspired start to the new year. The Azzurrini starlet has scored five of his six goals this season in 2016, and is coming off a heroic performance against Sampdoria where he netted a brace and managed to equalize the match in the 94th minute in the 2-2 result.

Only Cesare Bovo is out of Ventura’s planned lineup on Sunday after suffering a sprain at the start of February.

Form Guide: Torino (W-D-L-D-D) Chievo (W-D-L-L-L)

Torino: Padelli, Maksimovic, Glik, Moretti, Zappacosta, Benassi, Gazzi, Baselli, Bruno Peres, Maxi Lopez, Immobile.

Chievo: Bizzarri; Cacciatore, Dainelli, Cesar, Gobbi; Castro, Radovanovic, Rigoni; Birsa; Mpoku, Inglese


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