Juventus will look to put their Champions League woes behind them when they make the short trip to face city-rivals Torino on Saturday.

After Tuesday night’s shocking 2-0 UEFA Champions League defeat in Israel, Juventus will look to dust themselves up as they return to Serie A action with another huge fixture, where they take on perennial rivals Torino in the Derby della Mole at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino.

Things continue to go from bad to worse for Juventus, with Tuesday’s away loss to lowly Maccabi Haifa all but ending their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages. At this rate, they would do themselves a huge favour by finishing third in Group C and qualifying for the Europa League.

Massimiliano Allegri’s future at Juventus is well and truly on the brink. A Champions League group stage exit on top of a ten-point gap between the leaders in Italy plus uninspiring, dull football on the pitch means Allegri would have long been sacked in any other timeline. But Juventus’s financial crisis prevents that from happening at present.

Though chairman Andrea Agnelli has backed his manager, Allegri is running out of time. And things are not getting any easier as their frailties will be put to test further with the small matter of the Derby della Mole up next.

Torino, meanwhile, are not pulling up any trees either, picking up just one point from their last four Serie A games. They enjoyed a promising start to the season with three wins and a draw in their first five matches. But Il Toro have since suffered consecutive losses against Inter, Sassuolo, and Napoli, followed by a dismal home draw with Empoli.

Allegri’s Juventus must find some form before the World Cup. And with Torino struggling for results, they might climb the ladder if they can secure a positive result at Torino. Despite a lack of optimism at the start of the season, Juventus will be hopeful of turning their fortunes around in the coming weeks, domestically at least, and are slight favourites to secure a win in this game. The Hard Tackle now takes a closer look at both teams.

Team News & Tactics

Torino

Unlike his counterpart in the Juventus dugout, Torino boss Ivan Juric has no fresh injury concerns whatsoever and has a full-strength at his disposal following the return to full fitness of Mergim Vojvoda and Samuele Ricci ahead of the derby clash on Saturday.

Having set his team up in a 3-4-3 formation in the majority of the games this season, Juric may stick with the same starting eleven that took to the field against Empoli. Nikola Vlasic has been a revelation for Torino this term. Not only is he the top-scorer with three goals, but he stands out in terms of chance creation and pressing from the front.

But goals have been a real issue for the hosts since the departure of Andrea Belotti, with Il Toro scoring just twice in their last six games on home turf. Paraguayan striker, Antonio Sanabria, has netted just 2 goals in 9 appearances for Torino, while Russian hitman Aleksey Miranchuk has made only three appearances due to injury problems.

The strike duo largely misfired against Empoli and will hope for better luck in front of the goal this time around. Ola Aina and Valentino Lazaro should be the two wing-backs with the onus of providing width, progression, and dynamism in attack.

Karol Linetty and Sasa Lukic will hold down the fort in the middle of the park. The latter is a box-to-box goal-scoring presence, while the former will provide a screen to the three-man defensive unit of Ricardo Rodriguez, Perr Schuurs, and Koffi Djidji. Vanja Milinkovic-Savic will be the man between the sticks for the home side.

Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Milinkovic-Savic; Djidji, Schuurs, Rodriguez; Aina, Lukic, Linetty, Lazaro; Miranchuk, Sanabria, Vlasic

Juventus

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, as relayed by Mundo Deportivo, to stop the current rut, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri has taken his team into a concentration at J-hotel that will last until Saturday, whereby the players are not allowed to leave for home. These are traditional Italian methods, but still highly efficient.

Angel Di Maria, who sustained a hamstring strain against Maccabi Haifa on Tuesday night, will not be included in Juventus’s punishment Retiro. The Argentine international is set to be out for three weeks, joining Paul Pogba (knee), Mattia De Sciglio (thigh), Kaio Jorge (tendon), and Marley Ake (ankle) on the sidelines. On the flip side, Federico Chiesa is gradually regaining full fitness.

Allegri could look to freshen things up following the 2-0 defeat to Maccabi Haifa, with Fabio Miretti, Filip Kostic, and Arkadiusz Milik all in line to start here.

Despite their humiliating defeat last time out, Allegri might not want to tinker much with his backline due to a lack of options at his disposal. Gleison Bremer should replace Daniele Rugani as Leonardo Bonucci’s partner at the heart of the Juventus defence.

The full-backs, Alex Sandro and Danilo, will need to be on their toes against the more athletic and tricky Torino wing-backs. And they are likely to stay narrow to form a flat back-four in front of goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

In midfield, Allegri might be tempted to start youngster Fabio Miretti. The Italian wonderkid’s aggression and work ethic, coupled with technical prowess and the ability to close down the opposition, could be vital in Juventus’s second line of press.

Miretti is likely to replace Adrien Rabiot in the double pivot alongside Leandro Paredes. The two wide-advanced wingers, Filip Kostic and Juan Cuadrado should find space behind Torino’s backline, while Arkadiusz Milik will replace Angel Di Maria up front. While the performances have not been up to the mark, Dusan Vlahovic still leads Juventus’s scoring charts with five league goals this season.

Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Szczesny; Danilo, Bremer, Bonucci, Sandro;, Cuadrado, Parades, Miretti, Kostic; Vlahovic, Milik

Key Stats

  • Juventus are undefeated in their last 16 matches against Torino in all competitions.
  • Juventus have failed to win their last 6 away Serie A games and 8 in all competitions.
  • Torino have picked up just two wins from their last 12 home league games (D5, L5).
  • A tally of 13 points from 9 opening Serie A games is Juventus’s worst return since the 2015/16 season (12 points) at this point in the season.
  • Juventus have failed to score in 4 of their last 5 away league matches.

Player to Watch

Arkadiusz Milik

The high-profile transfers of Paul Pogba and Angel Di Maria have thus far been matched by highly disappointing tenures due to fitness issues. In contrast, the arrival of Arkadiusz Milik combined lower terms with even lower expectations. Yet the Polish striker, in just a handful of games, is already proving a bargain for Juventus.

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Milik has been one of the best performers for the Bianconeri this season. Not only has he already contributed four goals in nine outings across all competitions, but the former Napoli man has shown the ability to consistently pose a threat in a system in which, as we know all too well, the striker can seem completely isolated from the rest of the team so often.

With Di Maria facing yet another spell on the sidelines through injury, the onus will be on Milik and Dusan Vlahovic to get Juventus’s domestic campaign back on track after their Champions League nightmare.

Prediction

Torino 0-1 Juventus

Both sides are in something of a slump, so a low-scoring contest seems likely. Stats back this up; four of Torino’s last five games have contained under 2.5 goals, while the visitors have seen under 2.5 goals scored in three of their last five games, failing to score in the same proportion.

Even though the rivalry between Juventus and Torino is not as well-publicised as that between Inter and Milan, Turin’s local derby is the oldest in Italy; in fact, it is just as heated. A cagey affair could well be on the cards, with Juventus edging the contest with a 1-0 win in the Bianconeri’s favour a likely result.

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