Clay McGibbonJuventus vs Torino, Friday May 3rd, 19:30, Allianz Stadium. Juventus might have been crowned Serie A champions for the eighth straight year but there’s a feeling they’re limping over the line, and Torino would love to spoil their city rival’s party in the Derby della Mole.
Juventus might have been crowned Serie A champions for the eighth straight year but there’s a feeling they’re limping over the line, and Torino would love to spoil their city rival’s party in the Derby della Mole.
Torino cross Turin in good form, beaten only once in their last 14 games and having conceded only eight times in that stretch too. Walter Mazzarri’s side are in the hunt for European football, and a 2-0 win over Milan in their last outing showed what the Granata are capable of.
Indeed, Torino have lost only six times this season – the same total as second-place Napoli, and fewer than Atalanta, Milan, Roma and Inter, who all sit between Toro and Napoli in the table. No side in the top half has drawn more times than Torino’s 14, and only Fiorentina have recorded more draws – 16 – in the entirety of the division.
Juventus’ domination of this fixture, though, is almost total in recent meetings – and yet at the same time, the margins have been narrow. Earlier this season Juve needed a second half Cristiano Ronaldo penalty to take three points, and even when Juve did win 4-0 in 2017, Torino were down to 10 men after 24 minutes.
So with Juventus having wrapped up the title and Torino still with something to play for – local pride as much as European qualification – there’s a chance the spoils will be shared in a 1-1 draw.
Juve welcome Torino with a gap of more than 30 points, and yet in a standalone 90 minutes, that gap can be reduced to nothing – but the relevant bookmakers still favour Juve because of their stature. Torino will be as motivated for this game as any other, while for Juve, there’s something of an anti-climax around the club. Any draw, then, is 14/5 at Unibet.
Look for Torino to make a storming start and catch a sleepy Juve off their guard. Inter did likewise through Radja Nainggolan’s stunning goal last weekend, and the away side to score first is 39/20 at Royal Panda.
Head to Head
Juventus have won 22 of the last 31 fixtures between the clubs and Torino haven’t won since 2015. They last won away to Juve in 1995.
Juventus have 88 points from 34 games – last season they accrued 95 from 38, so with 12 points still available they can top that mark and reach 100 points if they win their last four fixtures.
Torino ended last season with 54 points and have already surpassed that total with 56.
Torino haven’t lost since March 16, when they were beaten at home by Bologna. That game saw Eric Pulgar but Torino in front with an own goal, and then put Bologna in front from the penalty spot.
Ronaldo’s equaliser against Inter was his first league goal since netting against Frosinone – on February 15.
A life-long Bury fan, Clay has realized his dreams of seeing his boyhood club reach the lofty heights of Premier League glory are very unlikely. Though currently living in London, Clay never misses the opportunity to watch his team on the stream. Often spotted at centre-back in Sunday League, Clay has settled for reporting on the top teams throughout Europe. He has recently taken a liking to the NFL, and hopes to be able to attend an NFL game at Wembley this year.