Still in contention for a top-half finish in Serie A, 11th-placed Torino host mid-table counterparts Spezia on Saturday afternoon.
Separated by seven points in the standings – with Ivan Juric’s men holding the upper hand – the teams meet with safety assured, despite indifferent results of late.
After shutting out a Milan side desperate for points in pursuit of the Scudetto, Torino posted another draw against high-profile opposition last weekend.
Indeed, they could have taken maximum points home from Rome, were it not for their former striker Ciro Immobile scoring a stoppage-time equaliser for Lazio, which cancelled out Pietro Pellegri’s opening goal.
As a result, the Granata have won only once in their last 11 Serie A matches – a 1-0 victory over rock-bottom Salernitana – while drawing six and losing four. Not only that, but they have also failed to score more than once in any game throughout that spell.
The last time Torino notched twice was as long ago as January, so Pellegri’s overdue strike – the on-loan forward’s first in Serie A for five years – will be welcomed by coach Ivan Juric, as he seeks further firepower in the final third.
That may prove the difference as they attempt to break in to the top half of the table before the campaign concludes. Hopes of hauling in 10th-placed Sassuolo are already slim, though; Torino trail the Emilian outfit by six points, but with a game in hand.
Spezia head coach Thiago Motta pictured on September 22, 2021© Reuters
Seeking a rare Serie A double, Spezia will arrive in Turin on Saturday having come out on top in November’s reverse fixture, when Jacopo Sala’s goal separated these sides at Stadio Alberto Picco.
One of just five home wins the Aquilotti have recorded all season, that victory came amid a five-game period when they lost four times; being on the wrong end of an aggregate goals tally of 11-3.
Since then, though, Thiago Motta has stabilised his side, and the Ligurian club sit safely in 15th, with a second successive survival mission all but complete.
Accumulating seven points from four matches before their Good Friday defeat to Inter saw them climb 11 points clear of the relegation zone, so Spezia’s target of securing top-flight football for just the third season in their history is within sight, despite a 3-1 reverse against the champions.
Motta’s men have already lost 10 times on the road this term, while scoring at a rate of less than one goal per game, so will certainly seek to improve that record on Saturday.