Friday, December 10
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Dec 2, 2021 at 5.30pm UK
Pobega (10'), Pjaca (15')
Aina (50'), Juric (54')
Singo (32')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Romagnoli (34'), La Mantia (72')
Bandinelli (45+1'), Marchizza (57'), Luperto (90+4')

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

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

Torino play host to Empoli on Thursday evening looking for the victory which will take the club closer to the top half of the Serie A standings.

While the home side can move ahead of their 11th-placed opponents, Empoli know that a win at the Olympic Grande Torino Stadium can move them ahead of some high-profile clubs in the division.

Match preview

When you see Torino down in 13th position in the standings, it is easy to make the assumption that they have been well off the pace this season.

However, each of their seven defeats have been by one-goal margins, and a run of three wins in six matches suggests that they are ready to make headway up the table.

Sunday's 1-0 defeat at Roma came as a blow - it was the fourth 1-0 reverse away from home in succession - but Ivan Juric's team are still performing above their current standing.

The challenge now is to get Andrea Belotti back on track on a consistent basis, the long-time leading marksman having only scored twice in 479 minutes of league football this campaign.

If the Italy international can rediscover his form and the backline maintain the second-best defensive record in the division, there is scope for Il Toro to break into the top 10 sooner rather than later.

As far as Empoli are concerned, they will continue to be delighted with their efforts this season, Saturday's 2-1 triumph over Fiorentina keeping them well away from the relegation zone.

Aurelio Andreazzoli's sole focus at the beginning of the campaign would have been survival, but Empoli have already built the foundations for a stress-free second half to the year.

While any kind of victory over Fiorentina was always going to be beneficial for momentum, netting twice in the final three minutes of normal time was the perfect way to post just a second home win in eight attempts.

Andrea Pinamonti now has five goals from his 13 appearances in Serie A this term, four of which have been netted since October 23.

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

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

Team News

With Belotti and Koffi Djidji sustaining injuries during the Roma game, Juric will be forced into a couple of alterations.

David Zima and Antonio Sanabria are both pushing for a recall to the Torino XI, starting at centre-back and in attack respectively.

Ola Aina could also be brought back at left wing-back after remaining as an unused substitute at the weekend.

Filippo Bandinelli will expect to be recalled to the Empoli starting lineup after coming off the substitutes' bench to score versus Fiorentina.

Patrick Cutrone faces a battle to retain his place in attack, but Lorenzo Tonelli could keep his spot in the middle of the backline.

Torino possible starting lineup:
Milinkovic-Savic; Zima, Bremer, Buongiorno; Singo, Lukic, Pobega, Aina; Praet, Brekalo; Sanabria

Empoli possible starting lineup:
Vicario; Stojanovic, Tonelli, Luperto, Parisi; Bandinelli, Ricci, Henderson; Francesco; Cutrone, Pinamonti

We say: Torino 2-1 Empoli

With both teams in relatively good form for a club of their stature, this could be an interesting game. Nevertheless, we feel that Torino will be able to take advantage of playing on familiar territory, potentially edging this contest by the odd goal in three.

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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