MX23RW : Monday, August 2 22:25:50| >> :600:2903782:2903782:
Dec 12, 2020 at 5pm UK at Stadio Olimpico
TorinoTorino
2-3
UdineseUdinese
Belotti (66'), Bonazzoli (67')
Lyanco (37'), Vojvoda (51'), Lukic (88')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Pussetto (24'), De Paul (54'), Nestorovski (69')
Pereyra (37'), Musso (76'), Becao (81')

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

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

Torino prepare for the visit of Udinese on Saturday aiming to claw back some ground on a key bottom-half rival after a disastrous derby climax last week sees them still stuck in the Serie A relegation zone.

The Granata are 18th in the standings - with just six points from 10 games - while their visitors' total of 10 points from nine leaves them sitting four places higher with a game in hand, due to a late postponement last weekend.


Match preview

Torino's Nicolas Nkoulou in action against Juventus in December 2018© Reuters

Torino's strong start against Juventus - with Nicolas N'Koulou scoring an early goal and bustling striker Simone Zaza almost notching a second - was undermined by yet another late implosion, as their city rivals once again sealed Derby della Mole victory through Leonardo Bonucci's 89th-minute strike.

Il Toro have already effectively 'lost' 19 points from winning positions in the current league season - a very much unwanted record in the history of Serie A after 10 games played. It is an all-too-familiar story for their long-suffering fans, as in the 2019-20 campaign the Granata gave up 27 points after going ahead in the first instance.

There is certainly no secret as to why Marco Giampaolo's embattled side have endured such struggles, because no team has conceded more goals than Torino in Italy's top flight this season - 24 in total, at a shocking average of nearly two-and-a-half per game.

The litany of gloom continues as they build up to what could be a crucial clash with their Friulian counterparts this week, as Torino have now only won one of their last 15 league games dating back to last season and they are winless in their past seven home games too - the last time the Granata registered a longer home streak without win was back in 2003.

Star man Andrea Belotti has netted seven goals this season to date, but his rate has notably slowed in recent weeks - just one coming in the past five rounds - as he has had to battle against an inflamed knee. His input - and that of returning creator Sasa Lukic from COVID-19 infection - will be essential if they are to overcome a well-rested opponent on Saturday.

Udinese manager Luca Gotti pictured in July 2020© Reuters

Udinese have not enjoyed their recent sojourns to Stadio Olimpico di Torino though, having only won one of their last nine league encounters against Turin's second side in total and losing three consecutive away games there without scoring a single goal.

However, winning five of their last nine away league matches - as many as in their previous 33 games on the road in Serie A - under Luca Gotti will have boosted the morale of an improving outfit, who had begun to overcome a long series of injuries and illnesses to start picking up points before another raft of new positive virus tests at the end of November.

Gotti, then, was no doubt relieved in part when their fixture with inconsistent Atalanta was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, though the Zebrette had in fact produced a shock 3-1 win away to Lazio the week before, just shortly after several squad members were forced to quarantine.

Udinese will therefore arrive in Turin with their batteries recharged, which could either be helpful or even a hindrance - in stalling hard-won momentum - as they search for a rare third league win on the spin.

Unlike Torino, the Bianconeri can count on great defensive solidity as - together with Sassuolo - theirs is the third-best defensive record in the league so far and they have conceded only one goal in their last three Serie A games.

Stalwarts Samir, Bram Nuytinck and Rodrigo Becao are generally no-frills members of Gotti's back three and often prove a significant threat in the opposition penalty box. Keeping Azzurri striker Belotti quiet will be their aim, as their enterprising colleagues in attack focus on the seemingly straightforward task of slicing through the home defence like a hot knife through butter.

Torino Serie A form: LWDLDL
Torino form (all competitions): WDLWDL

Udinese Serie A form: WLLDWW
Udinese form (all competitions): WLDWLW


Team News

Ignacio Pussetto in action for Udinese on April 2, 2019© Reuters

Udinese's Gerard Deulofeu - who has struggled since his comeback from serious injury - and Ignacio Pussetto were in line to start against Atalanta and as the club have been unusually opaque with regard to COVID-19 cases, it remains unknown until whether traditional strike pair Kevin Lasagna and Stefano Okaka will be available to start instead.

Roberto Pereyra (like Pussetto, Deulofeu and Okaka, also ex-Watford) now has two consecutive assists after a sluggish start and - alongside star man Rodrigo De Paul - will play in support of the front two in Luca Gotti's XI, from which defenders Thomas Ouwejan and Sebastien de Maio are definitely absent through injury.

Under-fire Torino coach Marco Giampaolo will be without Samir Ujkani, Daniele Baselli and striker Simone Verdi for Udinese's visit, though Sasa Lukic has returned from self-isolation.

This may prompt a switch back to 4-3-1-2 or could alternatively see Lukic play off Andrea Belotti in a 3-5-2, which has been more effective of late - if not in terms of results.

Torino possible starting lineup:
Sirigu; Lyanco, N'Koulou, Bremer; Singo, Linetty, Rincon, Meite, Rodriguez; Belotti, Zaza

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Musso; Becao, Nuytinck, Samir; Larsen, De Paul, Jajalo, Pereyra, Zeegelaar; Pussetto, Forestieri


SM words green background

We say: Torino 1-1 Udinese

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

Udinese, then, should expect to fill their boots in Turin this week, but doubts persist over the availability and fitness of some of their regular starters. A draw is likely to satisfy neither side but is the probable outcome when these sides meet on Saturday evening.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data


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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
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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