MX23RW : Thursday, February 25 23:08:20| >> :600:107258:107258:
Jan 29, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Stadio Olimpico
Belotti (88')
Lyanco (37'), Belotti (72')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Ribery (67')
Prandelli (83'), Kouame (84'), Amrabat (90+2')
Castrovilli (61'), Milenkovic (72')

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

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

Still hovering perilously above the relegation zone, Torino host mid-table Fiorentina on Friday evening, hoping for a first win in six matches to ease their ongoing troubles.

The Viola, meanwhile, have stabilised their season under experienced coach Cesare Prandelli and sit 12th in Serie A at the halfway point.

Match preview

Davide Nicola, now in charge of Torino, pictured in June 2020© Reuters

Concluding the first half of a so-far disastrous Serie A campaign, Torino travelled to overachieving Benevento - as this week, also under Friday night lights - with a new man in charge.

Incoming boss Davide Nicola was looking for a quick response from his squad, as the Granata had recorded just two league wins this season. However, despite dominating possession, they were ultimately indebted to an injury-time equaliser from veteran striker Simone Zaza for snatching a point in Campania - his second goal in a come-from-behind 2-2 draw.

That result continued a trend, as Torino have in fact lost only one of their last seven league games but frustratingly drawn five. As in the second half at Stadio Ciro Vigorito, they will have to seek the initiative at home to Fiorentina this week - particularly in light of their ongoing problems in defence.

Conceding 37 goals so far, at a rate of nearly two per game, will leave life-long Torino fan Nicola in no doubt about his immediate priorities. Known as a coach that rescues clubs from precarious situations - notably Crotone's miraculous comeback in 2016-17 and Genoa's narrow escape last term - he will seek to shore up the side he inherited from Marco Giampaolo.

After scoring nine goals in his first 11 appearances this season, star striker Andrea Belotti has not scored in any of his next seven, so a return to form for the Italy international would also be much appreciated by his new boss.

Also set to face fellow strugglers Genoa and Cagliari in the coming weeks, this could prove the optimal time for the 'Rooster' to help Il Toro to re-find their vigour in the fight for Serie A survival.

Fiorentina manager Cesare Prandelli pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Just when things appeared to be back on an even keel due to Cesare Prandelli's calming influence, in the space of four days Fiorentina found themselves dumped out of the Coppa Italia - after conceding in the last minute of extra time - and then smashed 6-0 in the league by Napoli.

Returning to home turf last week though, the Viola were able to bounce back with a 2-1 victory over bottom club Crotone - in-form Serb striker Dusan Vlahovic notching the vital second goal.

The Belgrade-born forward now has seven Serie A goals this season, with only two players born this century having done better in the top five European leagues this term - Erling Haaland of Borussia Dortmund (14 goals) and Paris Saint-Germain's Moise Kean (nine).

As fellow young gun Christian Kouame has proved less reliable as an alternative, the club hierarchy have seen fit to invest in hugely controversial Russia striker Aleksandr Kokorin, who will most likely provide support rather than replace Vlahovic up front. Prandelli has acknowledged that a 3-5-2 formation gives his outfit greater balance and organisation, so could even take the opportunity to unite the pair in attack.

Perhaps an increase in firepower can help one of Calcio's least potent teams pick up more points when playing away from home - starting in Turin on Friday night.

Amid the familiar surrounds of the Artemio Franchi, their form is far better - 16 of their 21 points to date have been won on home turf - so a trip north to toiling Torino may not prove a straightforward assignment for Prandelli's side.

Torino Serie A form: DWDLDD
Torino form (all competitions): WDLDDD

Fiorentina Serie A form: WDLWLW
Fiorentina form (all competitions): DLWLLW

Team News

Bremer in action for Torino on July 13, 2020© Reuters

Taking charge of his first home fixture as head coach of his boyhood club, Davide Nicola will continue with Torino's familiar 3-5-2 setup.

Brazilian defender Bremer could be drafted back into the XI after missing out last week, as Armando Izzo came off with a head injury against Benevento. Mergim Vojvoda has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury and remains unavailable, as does Nicolas N'Koulou.

Wing-backs Wilfried Singo and Cristian Ansaldi are favoured to feature on the flanks, but Nicola Murru is also in contention to start, while Simone Zaza should partner Andrea Belotti up front.

Expected to employ a similar tactical setup, Fiorentina manager Cesare Prandelli has a healthy squad to choose from, but is not expected to involve new signings Aleksandr Kokorin and Kevin Malcuit from the start.

A goalscorer last week, Giacomo Bonaventura could continue alongside Sofyan Amrabat and Gaetano Castrovilli in the midfield three, with Franck Ribery once more playing off central striker Dusan Vlahovic in attack.

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

Fiorentina possible starting lineup:
Dragowski; Milenkovic, Pezzella, Igor; Caceres, Bonaventura, Amrabat, Castrovilli, Biraghi; Ribery, Vlahovic

SM words green background

We say: Torino 2-1 Fiorentina

Davide Nicola's homecoming game - albeit not in front of a packed Stadio Olimpico di Torino, as he might have imagined - could well end with a welcome maximum points haul.

Fiorentina's woeful form away from home offers little confidence that the Viola can take something out of this encounter - with the hosts' greater potential firepower perhaps edging a close-fought contest in the second half.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data


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