Match Preview: Torino

Bologna face off against Torino in the first game of 2018. Here is our preview:

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Bologna travel to Turin in what will be a game between two teams in the middle of the table. Bologna’s loss to Udinese means that they’re still in 12th, but a win against Torino could send them on an upward trajectory.

The game against Udinese was a huge disappointment for Bologna. Despite them being in great form before the match, Udinese was a team that Bologna should have beaten, or at least drawn against.  The game continued a worrying trend as Bologna continued to make defensive errors. Widmer’s goal could easily have been avoided if the defenders had been switched on. That wasn’t the case, and Udinese got an easy goal.

But, that game is now behind us, and the focus is now on Torino. They come from a 2-0 loss to Juventus in the Coppa Italia. The loss led them to fire their head coach, Mihajlovic, and Walter Mazzarri has now taken over the control of the team. A bit of a weird decision to fire the coach after a loss to Juventus. Torino are in tenth, only two points behind seventh, and to then decide to fire him does not make sense. But, Mazzarri is now in control, and hopefully that means that the team is a bit unsettled, and that Bologna take home three points.

Torino is a tough opponent, but Bologna can on their day beat them. There is more than

Donadoni needs to rid his team of defensive mistakes.

enough quality in the team to cause problems for them. If the likes of Verdi and Destro continue their good form, and either Palacio and Di Francesco come into the team to occupy the last spot in attack, Torino’s defence should be worried. However, our attacking play was not up to recent standards versus Udinese, which is quite worrying. One of the factors that made it difficult for the trio in attack to cause problems was the team’s overall bad passing. Several players struggled to find their team mates and it led to Udinese winning the ball back way too often. The wayward passes came from players in defence as well as in midfield, and Bologna failed to build attacks from the back because of it. Donadoni needs to fix this if the team are to achieve a positive result in Torino.

But it isn’t just the attack that needs fixing before Torino. Defensively Bologna lacked concentration and aggressiveness. The defensive players need to improve come Torino, especially since Torino has got more quality in attack than Udinese. Players like Niang, Berenguer and Falqué has got a lot of quality, and the defence needs to be on their best game to stop them.


There will not be a lot of changes to the team that started against Udinese last weekend.

Will Di Francesco start versus Torino?

Maietta has become sick, but he wouldn’t have started the game anyway. There are some question marks regarding the team sheet though. The biggest of them are the left attacker. Di Francesco got his first match against Udinese since he came back from injury. Will it be him that continues or will Palacio be the one who Donadoni prefers? Di Francesco didn’t impress that much against Udinese, but he will only get better with more time out on the field.

The other question mark is whether M’baye will continue at right back, or if Torosidis comes back into the side. M’baye should be first choice, but there have been some rumours about the Greek starting. Torosidis has not impressed at all this season, and therefore it should be M’baye who get’s the nod.

Expected line-ups:

Torino (4-3-3): Sirigu; De Silvestri, N’Koulou, Burdisso, Molinaro; Rincon, Valdifiori, Baselli; Berenguer, Niang, Falqué

Bologna (4-3-3): Mirante; M’baye, Gonzalez, Helander, Masina; Poli, Pulgar, Donsah; Verdi, Destro, Di Francesco

Overall, a tough test is upon Bologna. But, given that Torino are under new management, Bologna can capitalize on the uncertainty in the club and get a positive result. Improvement is needed from the last game, but hopefully Donadoni and his team have worked hard to achieve just that the last week.


Photo: Bologna FC

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