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Feb 12, 2022 at 7.45pm UK
Brekalo (5')
Djidji (48'), Juric (74'), Bremer (87')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Haps (38'), Crnigoj (46')
Busio (1'), Caldara (82'), Ampadu (89')
Okereke (90+8')

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

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

Attempting to go nine home games unbeaten for the first time in five years, Torino take on relegation-threatened Venezia in Serie A's Saturday evening kickoff.

While the Granata have been unable to build on a strong start to 2022 - only taking a point from their last two games - their visitors' malaise runs far deeper, as the Venetians travel to Turin amid a terrible run of form.

Match preview

While Torino have won four of their last seven league games - as many as in their previous 13 - they are winless in their last two as a result of losing last time out against fellow mid-table outfit Udinese.

A match seemingly destined to end with the spoils shared after a goalless 90 minutes ended in spectacular fashion, as first midfielder Rolando Mandragora was sent off, then the Bianconeri scored twice in stoppage time to snatch all three points.

Leaving them dead-centre in the standings, the Granata are well clear of this weekend's 18th-placed opponents in the table - ruling out a tortuous conclusion to the campaign like last season, when they were embroiled in a battle against the drop. However, they are also slipping off the pace in the race for European places.

Even to be in the conversation for such an achievement at this stage of the season speaks volumes for coach Ivan Juric's impact at Turin's second club, though, and Torino's only losses since the end of November have come against Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia, and to Inter and Udinese in the league.

Juric, then, will justifiably have his sights set on a top-half finish in May, which makes picking up maximum points from games such as Saturday's essential.

Though Torino have won only one of their 10 matches in either of Calcio's top two tiers against Venezia since the turn of the century, the fact that they boast the division's third-best home record and fourth-meanest defence should count for a lot more this time around.

Continuing their descent towards the trapdoor back to Serie B, Venezia have lost their last two league games, and will now be desperate to avoid losing three in a row for the second time this season.

Having understandably come out second best in their last away game against league leaders Inter - though only due to a late comeback by the champions - the Lagunari limped to a 2-0 home defeat versus Napoli last weekend, leaving them precariously placed inside the bottom three.

Though the game was close to be decided in the Neapolitans' favour in any case, Paolo Zanetti's side again conceded a goal in injury time at the end of the match, and they have shipped the most in second-half injury time (six) of any side in Serie A.

It is primarily at the other end, though, where Zanetti's most acute problems lie, as despite a wide-ranging recruitment drive since their return to the top flight, Venezia have been finding the net at a rate of less than a goal per game.

As a result, their last victory in all competitions came against Serie B side Ternana late last year, in the Coppa Italia - a competition which they have since exited at the last-16 stage.

Facing a Torino team in formidable form on home soil is far from the ideal place to end that streak, but the Arancioneroverdi will have to upset the odds on several occasions if they are to secure their Serie A status.

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

Venezia Serie A form:
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Venezia form (all competitions):
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L

Team News

As Torino's star striker Andrea Belotti joins January signing Mohamed Fares on the sidelines again this week, Antonio Sanabria will continue to lead the line for the hosts, at the apex of Ivan Juric's favoured 3-4-2-1 formation.

Centre-back Bremer, recently retained on a new contract despite much transfer window speculation, returns following suspension and should slot straight into the back three, so Alessandro Buongiorno is expected to make way.

Meanwhile, January signings Samuele Ricci and Pietro Pellegri are both vying for a start, having previously been involved from the bench. The latter is most likely to be included in the first XI, as his fellow midfielders Rolando Mandragora and Sasa Lukic must both serve suspensions.

Venezia have Antonio Vacca, Maximilian Ullmann and Sofian Kiyine out of commission due to injury, while right-back Tyronne Ebuehi is banned after seeing red in injury time last weekend, on his first start of the year following a spell at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Paolo Zanetti could therefore ask Ethan Ampadu to deputise on that flank, especially given the visitors signed Czech Republic international Ales Mateju as a free agent this week but the former Brescia full-back has since tested positive for COVID-19.

Competing with several others for a place in the forward line - including Portuguese veteran Nani and loan signing Jean-Pierre Nsame - Mattia Aramu scored his first Serie A goal against Torino in the reverse fixture, and his top-flight debut actually came for the Granata back in 2016.

Torino possible starting lineup:
Milinkovic-Savic; Djidji, Bremer, Rodriguez; Vojvoda, Ricci, Pobega, Singo; Pjaca, Brekalo; Sanabria

Venezia possible starting lineup:
Lezzerini; Ampadu, Caldara, Ceccaroni, Haps; Fiordilino, Crnigoj, Cuisance; Aramu, Henry, Johnsen

We say: Torino 1-1 Venezia

Neither side excel in the final third, which could mean a close-fought encounter is on the cards - and the visitors might just steal away with a point if they can score first.

Leads rarely translate into wins for Venezia, though, and Torino should at least pick up another point; repeating the 1-1 draw between these teams in September.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home 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 Win:data

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