It is safe to say AC Milan were quite disappointing in the Derby della Madonnina against Inter Milan at the weekend, losing 2-0. New head coach Marco Giampaolo looks to be struggling to get the best out of this mediocre Milan team and their results reflect that.
Currently sitting 12th place in the Serie A standings, Milan will travel to 10th place Torino FC on Thursday night for a big clash against the Granata.
Torino have not been very impressive themselves as of late, losing 2-1 to U.S Lecce and then 1-0 to U.C Sampdoria in their most recent match. Coach Walter Mazzarri will be hoping for a much better result come Thursday evening. This Torino side is not a team to be taken lightly either, as they have some real skilled attacking players and overall a good squad.
Due to Milan's inconsistency and lack of organization at times, if Torino are able to play like they did against Atalanta B.C or U.S Sassuolo Calcio, they can surely come away with a positive result.
Torino (3-5-2): Salvatore Sirigu; Armando Izzo, Lyanco, Kevin Bonifazi; Lorenzo De Silvestri, Daniele Baselli, Tomas Rincon, Soualiho Meite, Ola Aina; Simone Zaza, Andrea Belotti
AC Milan (4-3-1-2): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Davide Calabria, Mateo Musacchio, Alessio Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Franck Kessie, Ismael Bennacer, Hakan Calhanoglu; Suso; Ante Rebic, Krzysztof Piatek
Torino look to be without injured left-back Cristian Ansaldi, midfielder Sasa Lukic and winger Vittorio Parigini.
Milan will be without Italian centre-back Mattia Caldara, who has yet to feature this year and has featured very little for the Rossoneri since moving there from Juventus FC last summer. Milan will also be without Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta due to a thigh injury.
The game changers
Both squads have quite a lot of attacking talent, although Milan's attack has been off to a quiet start scoring only two goals in four games.
Polish striker Krzysztof Piatek is known to put the ball in the back of the net and Milan will need him to deliver in this one. Having only one goal this season, Milan will need Piatek to start producing just like he did at Genoa C.F.C last season before switching to Milan.
Another player to watch for will be the Spaniard Suso. His electric pace, tricky feet and wonderful left foot can pose problems for the Torino backline.
Not to be outdone, the Granata have a young talented striker themselves in Andrea Belotti. Having scored two goals in the first four matches of the season, the Italian has good pace, is competitive in the air and is a decent finisher as well. Look for him to lead this Torino squad from the front.
Another Torino player who has impressed so far this term is centre-back Armando Izzo. The versatile defender, who can also play right-back, has played a full 90 minutes in all four of Torino's Serie A matches this season and he even scored a goal. His performances have not gone unnoticed, as Italian National Team coach Roberto Mancini called up Izzo for the Gli Azzurri's UEFA European Cup qualifying matches at the beginning of the month. He even played a full 90 minutes against the Finland National Team.
The match takes place at 8:00 p.m (GMT+1) Thursday evening at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino. Both teams will be looking to bounce back from poor efforts in their last matches.
Milan must find their form under new coach Giampaolo as soon as possible, hopefully for them it happens against Torino on Thursday. If the Rossoneri continue to play the way they are, their hopes of playing in the UEFA Champions League or even UEFA Europa League next season will soon vanish. Furthermore, if they cannot start producing results, coach Giampaolo's days as AC Milan coach may be numbered.
Torino must bring back their form from the beginning of the season if they plan to finish at the top end of the table and return to Europa League again next term. Although they fell to Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C during the Europa League playoff at the beginning of this season, hopefully it will make them hungry for a return to European football next season.
This should be an exciting clash between two teams who are competing with each other for a chance to play in European competitions next term. If captain Belotti and Torino can punish this shaky Milan team, they should be able to pull out a positive result.