MX23RW : Friday, July 30 11:44:20| >> :600:168703:168703:
Dec 17, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Stadio Olimpico
Mkhitaryan (27'), Veretout (43' pen.), Pellegrini (68')
Peres (21'), Mancini (23'), Villar (56'), Calafiori (90+2')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Belotti (73')
Singo (7'), Lyanco (78')
Singo (14')

Preview: Roma vs. Torino - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Serie A clash between Roma and Torino, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

After a week in which they progressed in Europe and cruised to another Serie A victory, Roma now welcome troubled Torino to Stadio Olimpico on Thursday evening.

The visitors languish in the bottom three, four points adrift of 17th-placed Spezia, after the latest in a long litany of league defeats from promising positions.

Match preview

Roma forward Pedro celebrates with Tommaso Milanese after scoring against CFR Cluj on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Though Roma were without a win in their previous two Serie A games and had lost a dead rubber to CSKA Sofia in the Europa League last Thursday, the Giallorossi travelled to Bologna intent on a confidence-boosting return to their previously sparkling form.

Crushing Sinisa Mihajlovic's under par side 5-1 was a clear statement to their fellow top-four contenders, as Roma took advantage of chaos in the home defence and gave goalkeeping debutant Federico Ravaglia - who actually made a number of saves to keep the scoreline down - a first-team bow to forget.

Roma's attack has been particularly irrepressible of late, as they have netted at least twice in six of their last eight league games - with 21 goals in that spell coming at an impressive average of 2.7 per game - to help Paulo Fonseca's side sit sixth, within striking distance of the top two from Milan.

The return of Edin Dzeko from COVID-19 infection, allied to the flying form of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who has six goals and five assists this term, and a healthy total of nine different Giallorossi men finding the net in this league so far, has seen opposition defences wilt under their relentless creative intensity.

Thursday's opponents, meanwhile, have an appalling record defensively and must approach their journey to the capital in trepidation.

Marco Giampaolo in charge of Torino in September 2020© Reuters

Simply unable to hold on to leads or capitalise on promising positions, Torino are a further loss or two short of a full-blown crisis - and coach Marco Giampaolo could soon be out of a job.

There is certainly no secret as to why the former Samdoria manager's embattled side have endured such struggles, because no team has conceded more goals than Il Toro in Italy's top flight this season - 27 in total, at a shocking average of around two-and-a-half per game.

The litany of gloom continues as they build up to a challenging clash with their Roman counterparts this week, as Torino have now won only one of their last 16 league games dating back to last season.

Club President Urbano Cairo - not known for his patience - insists he still has faith in the current coach and has ordered his squad into a training retreat since last week's demoralising defeat, stating: "Our faith in Giampaolo is not running out, nor does it have a deadline."

However, the luckless and confidence-drained Granata remain firmly in the drop zone after seven defeats in the opening 11 rounds, including last Saturday's 3-2 home loss to Udinese.

Against the Zebrette, Torino managed an extraordinary comeback - with two goals in just a minute - but still produced an all-too-common capitulation to come away empty-handed in the end, with Ricardo Rodriguez's characteristically blockbusting free kick rattling the crossbar as they searched for a late equaliser.

A downbeat Giampaolo said that his team deserved to lose, given their anxious first-half performance in Turin. Such talk and similar results can have only one outcome for a coach whose once-glowing reputation lies in something near tatters right now.

Roma Serie A form: WWWLDW
Roma form (all competitions): WLWDLW

Torino Serie A form: WDLDLL
Torino form (all competitions): DLWDLL

Team News

Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Roma will continue to evaluate the condition of defenders Gianluca Mancini and Marash Kumbulla, who are both doubtful for Thursday. Former Verona man Kumbulla came off early against Bologna and will be assessed ahead of kickoff.

Bryan Cristante was this week suspended for blasphemy by Serie A's disciplinary board, while Davide Santon is still struggling with a thigh injury. Therefore, Juan Jesus is likely to join Chris Smalling and Roger Ibanez in yet another patched-up Giallorossi defence - a recurring theme of the 2020-21 campaign for coach Paulo Fonseca.

Torino boss Marco Giampaolo must surely be reaching his final gambit, as he must cover the absence of Simone Verdi, Cristian Ansaldi and young winger Vincenzo Millico, who all remain out with muscular injuries. Mergim Vojvoda should continue to cover for Ansaldi on the left flank of the Granata's 3-5-2.

Forward Federico Bonazzoli, a scorer in the Udinese defeat, is tipped to take Simone Zaza's place alongside top scorer Andrea Belotti from the start.

Roma possible starting lineup:
Lopez; Ibanez, Smalling, Kumbulla; Karsdorp, Veretout, Pellegrini, Spinazzola; Pedro, Mkhitaryan; Dzeko

Torino possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Bremer, Lyanco, Rodriguez; Singo, Lukic, Rincon, Linetty, Vojvoda; Bonazzoli, Belotti

SM words green background

We say: Roma 2-1 Torino

Roma's intense workload could eventually take its toll - though coach Paulo Fonseca has rotated wisely - but Thursday's visitors are not best placed to capitalise.

Even if Torino can grab a goal, their brittle confidence and sieve-like back line hold out little hope of securing a much needed point against a recently rampant attacking force.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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Italy's Andrea Belotti in action for his side during the international friendly with Germany in Milan on November 15, 2016
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Friday's key events

· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

> Today's schedule in full
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