Expect Golazos Aplenty In Turin
Torino v Empoli
After Juventus were confirmed as Italian champions on Saturday their city rivals Torino now hope to complete a fine season of their own with European qualification and a win against Empoli on Wednesday will keep them on course for just that.
Last Wednesday’s 2-2 draw with Palermo means it’s now seven unbeaten for Torino in a strong finish to the season, including a memorable 2-1 victory in the Turin derby against the newly-crowned champions two games ago.
Giampiero Ventura’s side have done it the hard way though having conceded in each of their last five and have scored fewer goals at home than any side in the top half of the table. At the time of writing they remain only three pints adrift of Sampdoria in the final Europa League placing, however with a puncher’s chance of reaching Europe competition.
Veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella is the club’s top scorer this season with 13 Serie A goals as part of a total of 16, including the winner against Juve to make him a an instant fan favourite.
Empoli’s excellent 4-2 victory against Champions League chasers Napoli last Thursday all but mathematically confirmed their Serie A status for next season with five games to spare.
They’re now three unbeaten having scored an impressive eight goals in those outings although they’ve also conceded 12 in their last five, four of them in a 4-0 hammering by Lazio in Rome.
However, their record of 25 points on their own patch is the same as Torino’s and bettered by only Palermo in the lower half of the table but have won only once on the road all season in the Italian top flight despite the fact that only three teams in the division have lost fewer away from home.
Former Middlesboro attacker Massimo Maccarone is his side’s top scorer this season with ten league goals, and has found the net in each of his last three appearances.
Torino’s only likely absentee is midfielder Giuseppe Vives through injury with no fresh worries, Ventura should be able to select something approaching his strongest eleven.
Empoli boss Maurizio Sarri is without midfield pair Riccardo Saponara and Tiberio Guarente while defensive duo Lorenzo Tonelli and Vincent Laurini are also sidelined through injury.
Head to Head
The pair played out a drab scoreless draw in the reverse fixture back in December, their first meeting in six years, a result that continued a trend with three scoreless draws in the last five and only two goals scored in total in those fixtures.
Both have won only one of the last eight too.
Despite the history of low scoring contests in this fixture the recent performances of both teams suggests this could go against that and so I’d get behind the over 2.5 in the goals market at 20/21, as has been the case in three of the last five games for Torino and each of Empoli’s last four.
Torino’s greater need and home advantage makes them worthy favourites at 5/6 but a similar price of 4/5 on both teams to score looks a better punt to me. Quagliarella looks a fine price to get on the scoresheet at any stage too at 23/20 with Maxi Lopez also well priced to register for the hosts at 5/4.