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

:Headline: Preview: Torino vs. Sampdoria - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Torino and Sampdoria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

As both sides have won just one of their last six matches, Torino and Sampdoria convene on Saturday evening with a precious three points at stake in Turin.

Separated by just two points in the standings, the 13th-placed hosts welcome struggling Samp to Stadio Olimpico di Torino seeking a valuable win, just days after defeat to Milan - their third in as many matches against the big guns of Serie A.

Match preview

The fixture list has certainly not been kind to Torino during the month of October, and a tough run of games has seen the Granata beaten by Napoli, city rivals Juventus and - on Tuesday - Milan.

Despite head coach Ivan Juric claiming that reverse at San Siro was their "best performance of the season" - as substitute Dennis Praet struck the bar against an under-par Rossoneri - veteran striker Olivier Giroud turned in what turned out to be the winning goal from close range, to consign Il Toro to another 1-0 defeat.

Losing by the same scoreline against all three of their top-half opponents this month has perhaps highlighted Torino's over-reliance on injured star striker Andrea Belotti, who is only now returning to first-team action following an injury layoff.

Juric has, though, managed to stem the tide of goals which the Turin side have leaked over recent years, with his renowned organisational skills already making the Granata's one of the meanest defences in the division. For instance, they have conceded fewer than Juventus, Atalanta and Inter this term.

However, their 3-2 win over lowly Spezia last weekend stands alone in the wins column since victory over Sassuolo in mid-September, so Juric will hope to have Belotti closer to full fitness and back on the goal trail as soon as this Saturday.

Much like their opponents this weekend, Sampdoria have only tasted Serie A success versus Spezia of late, posting a 2-1 win over their Ligurian rivals last weekend to end a run of just one point from four outings.

Going in search of consecutive wins for the first time this season during midweek, the Blucerchiati started as outsiders - despite home advantage - as they took on Atalanta at the Marassi.

The Bergamo side fought back from going a goal down to Francesco Caputo's early strike - his third for the club since joining from Sassuolo in the summer - as ex-Samp striker Duvan Zapata equalised in the 21st minute.

Though under-fire coach Roberto D'Aversa then saw his side slip behind soon after, it was only an injury-time showstopper from Josip Ilicic which ultimately sealed the deal for La Dea.

In all, Sampdoria have now conceded 17 goals in their last six games - more than any other team during that spell - as they drift dangerously close to the drop zone with over a quarter of the campaign completed.

Players and staff may have come and gone at both clubs over the past couple of years, but at least when they embark on the trip north to take on Torino this week, struggling Samp know they have reigned supreme in this fixture of late - of the teams' past four top-flight encounters, the Blucerchiati have won three and drawn once.

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

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

Team News

Though he struggled to make an impact on the Milan defence in midweek, Andrea Belotti made his first start for almost two months at San Siro, having finally recovered from an ankle sprain. Ivan Juric is likely to turn to the Italy international to lead the Torino attack once again, but Antonio Sanabria stands ready to deputise if required.

Juric was without Cristian Ansaldi through injury on Tuesday, and the wing-back is set to miss out again, so Ola Aina will continue on the left flank of the home side's 3-4-2-1 formation.

Josip Brekalo and Karol Linetty are favourites to start in support of Belotti, but former Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet may be involved after his lively showing as a substitute last time out.

The visitors, meanwhile, are expected to be without Valerio Verre, who came off with a hamstring injury in the win over Spezia, while Mikkel Damsgaard - recently returned to training after being sidelined by a thigh problem - is only an outside bet to be involved. The Danish winger joined both Albin Ekdal and Ronaldo Vieira in individual sessions during the week, and Ekdal could now start following his cameo against Atalanta.

Left-back Tommaso Augello has also returned to the Sampdoria ranks ahead of the weekend, but former Torino loanee Nicola Murru could continue filling in for him on Saturday.

Up front, Fabio Quagliarella should return to the first XI, meaning either Manolo Gabbiadini or 'Ciccio' Caputo is rested.

Torino possible starting lineup:
Milinkovic-Savic; Djidji, Bremer, Rodriguez; Singo, Lukic, Pobega, Aina; Praet, Brekalo; Belotti

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Colley, Murru; Thorsby, Silva, Ekdal; Candreva, Quagliarella, Gabbiadini

We say: Torino 1-0 Sampdoria

Torino can turn the tables by registering a 1-0 win of their own, having lost by that scoreline three times of late. They look a far more disciplined outfit under Ivan Juric, while Samp are often reckless at the back and are almost nailed-on to concede.

Therefore, the Granata can eke out three valuable points in the first of a series of three eminently winnable matches.

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:data

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