MX23RW : Friday, July 30 12:02:05| >> :600:2607157:2607157:
Apr 26, 2021 at 5.30pm UK at Stadio Olimpico
TorinoTorino
0-2
NapoliNapoli

Verdi (45+1'), Mandragora (58')
Mandragora (86')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Bakayoko (11'), Osimhen (13')
Osimhen (68')

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

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

After a spectacular success in midweek, fifth-placed Napoli take on relegation-battlers Torino on Monday, determined to last the pace in the race for Champions League qualification.

Gennaro Gattuso's side have now won seven from 10 since their European elimination in February, while Il Toro have turned a corner in their fight to avoid the drop - picking up 11 points from the last possible 18.


Match preview

Napoli's Lorenzo Insigne celebrates scoring their first goal on January 10, 2021© Reuters

A remarkable 5-2 destruction of their closest rivals in the Serie A standings, Lazio, on Thursday continued Napoli's recent run of fine form and left them just three points adrift of second-placed Milan ahead of the weekend's action.

Captain Lorenzo Insigne once more shone for the Partenopei, bagging a brace to move on to 17 goals (plus five assists) in a stellar personal campaign. Assuming he features as planned on Monday evening, the in-form Italy international will make his 300th league appearance for his hometown club and has arguably never played better than of late.

Gennaro Gattuso, whose future at the club is yet to be determined, was also delighted to see fellow forwards Victor Osimhen and Dries Mertens - now on nine goals and eight assists, having equalled the club's Serie A scoring record - make the scoresheet against their capital counterparts.

Not only did the trio prolong Napoli's record of scoring at least once in each game since the start of the calendar year, but also helped see off the challenge of one of their main contenders for a top-six place.

After also earning a point against league leaders Inter last weekend, the Neapolitans are now set to face a theoretically less challenging run-in than many of their rivals - with five of their remaining opponents currently sitting in the bottom half.

The first fixture of that concluding six-match spell comes against a club they have remained unbeaten against since March 2015. Since then, Napoli have won seven times and drawn four versus Torino - a run during which the inspirational Insigne has been directly involved in 11 goals against them.

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

Having put together a four-match unbeaten streak in Serie A, a much-improved Torino outfit moved clear of the relegation zone in midweek, but are still precariously placed with seven games to go.

Though they still have a game in hand on their nearest rivals, Davide Nicola's team are still to face Milan and Lazio, following a particularly testing encounter on Monday.

Last time out, the Granata were held 1-1 by Bologna, as they added another point towards their aim of staying afloat in the top flight - a task made significantly more attainable after their unexpected upset of Roma just days before.

Star striker Andrea Belotti - the subject of much transfer speculation ahead of the upcoming summer transfer window - has had a relatively dry spell of late, but the recent final-third form of winter signings Antonio Sanabria and Rolando Mandragora has certainly compensated.

Both men were brought into the side by boyhood Toro fan Nicola, under whom Turin's second side have picked up an average of 1.4 points per game since his mid-season arrival - double their rate in a disastrous first part of the campaign.

This week, the former Udinese coach would most likely accept a repeat of Torino's goalless draw in Naples the last time these clubs met, as he seeks to succeed in keeping his dream job long term.

Torino Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • D

Napoli Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W



Team News

Napoli manager Gennaro Gattuso pictured on November 5, 2020© Reuters

Napoli goalkeeper David Ospina remains out of action with a thigh strain, with the 32-year-old stopper unavailable until the end of the month, so Alex Meret once more deputises as the visitors' last line of defence.

Ahead of him, Amir Rrahmani and Nikola Maksimovic will go head-to-head to replace Kostas Manolas in defence, as the Greek centre-back must serve a suspension on Monday. Midfield regular Diego Demme returns from his one-match ban, though, and should replace Tiemoue Bakayoko in the engine room.

In search of one more goal to become the club's outright Serie A top scorer, Dries Mertens will hope to get the nod over Victor Osimhen for a start in the centre of the Azzurri's three-man attack.

Torino, meanwhile, have their first-choice goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu back from a spell in self-isolation due to COVID-19, with Vanja Milinkovic-Savic therefore returning to the sidelines.

Though the rest of the lineup is set to stay unchanged, as Davide Nicola has established an effective XI of late, in-form 'Tonny' Sanabria may expect to come back in for Simone Zaza up front.

Torino possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Izzo, Nkoulou, Bremer; Singo, Rincon, Mandragora, Verdi, Ansaldi; Sanabria, Belotti

Napoli possible starting lineup:
Meret; Di Lorenzo, Rrahmani, Koulibaly, Rui; Demme, Ruiz; Lozano, Zielinski, Insigne; Mertens


SM words green background

We say: Torino 1-2 Napoli

Gennaro Gattuso's visitors have goal threats all across the final third, so can put an end to Torino's terrific burst of form by exploiting the home side's defensive deficiencies.

Even though they have tightened up significantly at the back, the Granata can be vulnerable to the kind of guile provided by penalty-box masters Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com 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:curl


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How you voted: Torino vs Napoli

Torino
19.1%
Draw
11.8%
Napoli
69.1%
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Italy's Andrea Belotti pictured on November 15, 2020
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ChinaChina1781136
JapanJapan174627
United StatesUnited States14161141
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Friday's key events


ATHLETICS
· 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)

ROWING
· 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)

SWIMMING
· 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)

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

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

FOOTBALL
· 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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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Atalanta BCAtalanta00000000
2Bologna00000000
3CagliariCagliari00000000
4Empoli00000000
5Fiorentina00000000
6Genoa00000000
7Hellas VeronaHellas Verona00000000
8Inter Milan00000000
9Juventus00000000
10Lazio00000000
11AC Milan00000000
12Napoli00000000
13Roma00000000
14Salernitana00000000
15Sampdoria00000000
16SassuoloSassuolo00000000
17SpeziaSpezia00000000
18Torino00000000
19Udinese00000000
20VeneziaVenezia00000000

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