Saturday brings the first Turin Derby since 2009. But will it have been worth the wait?
On first glance, the most interesting thing about the Derby della Mole is the name. It could be like one of those whack-a-mole arcade games, with the referee roaming around with a wooden mallet. Now that would be fun to watch. But will this match?
The signs point to no. Sure, Juventus have a reason to break out Pescara-mode against Torino. Their pride is wounded after losing 1-0 to AC Milan last week, and the cut stings even more considering the goal came from a penalty that probably should not have been given.
What's worse for Juve, though, is the lack of chances created at their visit to the San Siro. Fabio Quagliarella may have whined about getting subbed off, but the shots didn't really flow until the introduction of Sebastian Giovinco, who's sure to be on the pitch from the beginning this time around.
But if any side is up to the task of closing down Juve, it's Torino. Il granata won't get drawn into a futile midfield battle -- Giampiero Ventura knows his chosen 4-2-4 will have lost that war before it even begins. Yet Torino should be able to close down their rivals in front of goal. Their defense is one of the best in Italy, having conceded just 14 goals this season, and only 6 away -- that's just one more than both Juventus and Napoli.
All this, however, points to a fairly boring match. Watching Toro is never too thrilling, but watching them try to take points off their rivals is likely to be downright dull. Let's all cross our fingers for a bit of scandal to liven up this derby.
Juventus Injuries and Suspensions
Martin Caceres (injured); Fabio Quagliarella (dumb)
Quags had some not so nice words for Angelo Alessio when he was substituted against Milan. Don't expect to see him for this match.
Torino Injuries and Suspensions
Sergiu Suciu (injured); Marko Bakic and Giuseppe Vives (in doubt)
Match Date / Time: Saturday, December 1 at 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin
TV: Sky Calcio 1, ESPN UK, RAI Internazionale