Torino aims to turn tide against Juventus in Serie A

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 December, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 December, 2012, 4:22am


One of Serie A's biggest derbies takes centre stage today when Torino visit Juventus Stadium with the unlikely hope of denting the Old Lady's bid for a successful title defence.

"Il Grand Torino" were once one of Italy's biggest teams and their history hangs over the city, no more so than at the Superga hill where virtually the entire team was wiped out in a plane crash in May 1949.

Juve are unbeaten against Torino in the sides' last 12 games and on home soil have chalked up 33 wins, 18 draws and 16 defeats over the years.

Indeed the last time Torino beat the Bianconeri was in 1995, when the visitors achieved a 2-1 win at the Stadio delle Alpi.

"Torino have to treat this like a World Cup final," said former Torino player Paolo Pulici, who scored the most goals against Juve in previous derbies.

"In this kind of game motivation, belief and desire will be key. That's the only way to get one over on such a strong and complete side as Juventus."

An unlikely Juve defeat would be applauded by Napoli, who are back in the title chase thanks to a recent resurgence and are at home to Pescara.

They are unbeaten this month in all competitions, including the Europa League, and have scored 14 goals in their past six games thanks largely to the combined efforts of Edinson Cavani, Marek Hamsik and Lorenzo Insigne.

With Goran Pandev reportedly still not fully recovered from injury, Insigne is likely to start against his former club in what should be a memorable game for the Italy under-21 player.

While on loan at Pescara last season, Insigne helped their promotion bid by scoring 18 goals in 37 Serie B appearances. This season Pescara are bottom with 11 points and three wins from 14.

Fiorentina, meanwhile, face an attacking injury crisis before they host Sampdoria in tomorrow's late match.

La Viola have climbed to third in the table, on the same 28 points as Inter in fourth, thanks to a solid run of games this month.

AC Milan will look to build on their jump up to ninth place, thanks to their 1-0 win over Juve last week, but face a potential banana skin away to Catania, who humbled Lazio 4-0 two weeks ago.

Inter, meanwhile, will be expected to keep the pace with both Juve and Napoli when they host Palermo at the San Siro.