Soccer Italy Serie A 1 March 2023
Juventus vs Torino - Match Preview
It must have felt like a long weekend for Juventus, who have had to watch all of their fellow European challengers play before them whilst they prepare for the 156th Derby della Molle in Serie A (SA). Juventus should at least come into this game on a high after their 3-0 midweek UEFA Europa League victory against Nantes was enough to see them advance to the last 16, a result which alleviated some building pressure on manager Massimiliano Allegri.
Allegri’s men can reasonably be expected to ease more pressure on their boss against a Torino side they have beaten in 24 of the last 33 SA H2Hs (D8, L1). Not only is a victory crucial to Allegri’s job prospects, but it is also imperative to Juventus’ chances of a top-six finish after their points deduction left them no fewer than nine points adrift of the European places ahead of the round.
By the time kick-off comes, it will have been more than a week since Torino last took to the pitch, but fresh legs may not be enough to counteract the psychological scars of a 2-2 home draw against a winless Cremonese. Things won’t get any easier in this derby clash, especially when it’s Torino doing the travelling as they haven’t won any H2H as the designated away side since April 1995!
Winning away from home is a problem that has plagued Torino for quite a while now, with just two victories from their last ten SA road trips (D3, L5). Whilst their away games haven’t proved fruitful for points, they have proved entertaining for the neutral, with Torino witnessing both teams score in a joint-league-high nine SA away games this term.
📋 Players to watch: Dušan Vlahović scored the winner in Juventus’ 1-0 win in the reverse fixture and could become just the fourth player since 1995/96 to score in both Turin derbies in a single SA season. Torino’s Antonio Sanabria is out for a little record of his own too, needing just one more goal to match his best-ever SA scoring season of six goals.
⚡ Hot stat: Eight of the last nine SA Turin derbies have seen Juventus score on or beyond the 70th minute.
Cremonese vs AS Roma - Match Preview
Cremonese’s agonising 27-year wait for a Serie A (SA) win continued as they squandered a lead in a 2-2 draw against Torino on Monday. The basement club are now winless in 30 top-flight games, which serves as the longest such streak of any club in SA from 1929/30 onwards. Considering 23 of those games came this season (D9, L14), Davide Ballardini’s side are primed for a swift return to Serie B, with a paltry 17 goals scored and an eye-watering 42 conceded doing little to help their cause.
The arrival of Roma only adds to those concerns considering Cremonese have lost their last four SA H2Hs, failing to score in the last three. Yet, there is some hope that this could be the game they finally get off the mark, as they have picked up all nine of their league points starting the game as outsiders (D9, L12) and did in fact beat Roma 2-1 in the Coppa Italia earlier this season.
The visitors will undoubtedly be gunning for revenge and should travel in high spirits after defeating Salzburg 2-0 on Thursday to advance to the Europa League round of 16. Coach José Mourinho hailed it as “a complete performance” and will gear up to translate that momentum to domestic commitments as a top-four spot is not yet a foregone conclusion. That is perhaps in part due to a recent 13-game league run (W6, D4, L3) where the hit-and-miss Giallorossi won consecutive matches just once.
Roma now have a chance to improve on that tally and post back-to-back league wins after a 1-0 triumph against Verona on their last matchday, with that scoreline now witnessed in 11 league victories under Mourinho. That includes the reverse league fixture, and a repeat may be welcome here as Roma’s recent competitive away form has been uninspiring (W1, D3, L2).
📋 Players to watch: Cremonese’s Cyriel Dessers has been involved in three (G2, A1) home SA goals this season and scored the opener in the Coppa Italia H2H. Andrea Belotti scored Roma’s only goal in that game and also scored their opener against Salzburg on Thursday.
⚡ Hot stat: Cremonese have scored 12 of their 17 SA goals during the second-half this campaign but no side has conceded fewer than Roma’s eight during the second period.
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