Torino vs Lazio Preview: Granata hunt for revenge at home

Torino vs Lazio Preview: Granata hunt for revenge at home

Torino will look to correct their bad form against Lazio when they take on Simone Inzaghi's men on Sunday.

Kaustubh Pandey

Simone Inzaghi's inconsistent Lazio will travel to Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, where they will lock horns with Sinisa Mihajlovic's ever-improving Torino side, in what promises to be intriguing game.

Both sides have enjoyed reasonably good starts to the new season, especially Torino, who had finished the previous season at the 12th position. Lazio, on the other hand, are currently sixth on the table this season, after having finished at the 8th position under Stefano Pioli last season.

Lazio have just many games as Mihajlovic's Torino, who have lost one game each to AC Milan and Atalanta this season. Torino's past record against Gli Aquilotti isn't something to be proud of as they've not one a single game in the past five outings. And revenge will be on their minds.

Belotti and Falque firing on all cylinders

The Turin based club have found the back of the net 17 times already this season, conceding only nine times. Last season, the Bulls had succeeded in racking up only 12 wins throughout their campaign, but they've already won five games this time around, suggestive of how far they've come after Giampiero Ventura was allowed to take charge of Italy this past summer.

And one of the reasons why Torino have been in a good goalscoring form early on this season, is the brilliance of Andrea Belotti. The Italian has racked up five goals this season, apart from a single assist has often acted as a propelling force for a side that had conceded more goals than they had scored.

Former Tottenham Hotspur outcast Iago Falque too, has become a vital cog in Mihajlovic's wheel at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, as the Spaniard has been involved in more goals than anyone else in the team. His tally of four goals and three assists has been more than just crucial for the Granata.

A couple of 0-0 draws against Pescara and Empoli did give the impression of disrupting their early season progress, but were indicative of the defensive solidarity Torino have this season. Luca Rossettini, who arrived from Bologna this past summer has been an important organ of their defense, along with Leandro Castan, who has appeared six times after having joined on loan from Roma.

Biancocelesti riding on Immobile resurgence

Although, Inzaghi's men are still found wanting against the big club, after having succumbed to losses at home to Juventus and at San Siro to Vincenzo Montella's AC Milan. But they've been matching expectations, when it comes to playing smaller sides.

The 3-5-2 formation is reaping rewards, when it comes to winning midfield battles and dominating proceedings in the heart of the park. Lazio have won an average of 23.9 tackles in every game this season, which is more than Torino, who win 17.6 tackles per game, which is the same amount of tackles that Juventus have won. The midfield five, which consists of the experienced Marco Parolo, youngsters Danilo Cataldi and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic acts as a perfect blend, with two wing-backs in the form of Senad Lulic and the talented Felipe Anderson. And the tactical flexibility, that sometimes sees them switch to a 4-3-3, makes them a cohesive unit.

Ciro Immobile, who reportedly rejected a permanent return to Torino to seal a move to Lazio, has racked up five assists for them and made Italy look like a force against Spain, when playing up front against Andrea Belotti.

Young Keita Balde Diao, who was reportedly on the radar of some big European clubs this past summer, too has had an impressive season. He has scored twice, assisting just as many times. And another youngster who is making headlines is Brazilian sensation Felipe Anderson, who has assisted twice and has added a new dimension to Lazio's style, after enduring an inconsistent campaign last season.

Injuries impairing Lazio?

Stefan Radu, who had a yellow card brandished at him five times in the past six games, will miss the game due to suspension, much like Ricardo Kishna, who is out with Influenza.

The trio of Bastos, Dusan Basta and Jordan Lukaku will still be out, with their returns scheduled in mid-November. Argentine star Lucas Biglia will still be out as he continues his recovery from a calf muscle injury. The absence of Lukaku and Radu would hand Inzaghi with an unenviable problem at left-back.

As far as Mihajlovic's side is concerned, two of his players, who are suffering from ACL injuries- Danilo Avelar and Cristian Molinari, will not feature during the game at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

Possible line-ups

Torino (4-3-3): Hart; L.D Silvestri, Rossettini, Castan; Barreca; Valdifiori, Benassi, Baselli; Falque, Belotti, Ljajic.

Lazio (4-3-3): Marchetti; Patric, Hoedt, De Vrij, Lulic; Milinkovic-Savic, Parolo, Cataldi; Anderson, Immobile, Keita.