Serie A Previews: Grande Torino Returns

TURIN, ITALY - MAY 20: Torino FC players celebrate after promotion to Serie A during the Serie B match between Torino FC and Modena FC at Olimpico Stadium on May 20, 2012 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images)

An already strong side propelled Torino FC to 2nd in Serie B last season, but a few smart signings this summer means they'll likely stay up in Serie A.

There are some clubs you just feel belong in Serie A. Torino is one of those clubs, and they've made it back after three seasons down in Serie B. Il Granata have a grand history in Italian football; plus, who doesn't love a team with a fierce rivalry against Juventus? (Except Juve supporters, of course).

Last Season

2nd, Serie B, securing automatic promotion.

Who's Gone?

Mirco Antenucci: Torino's top scorer last season is headed back to Catania (for now -- he's sure to head off again), but considering their top only reached ten, it's probably not the most heartbreaking news in the world. He's already been replaced and Torino are comfortable, even as rumours drift in that he might return.

Manuel Iori: Il Granata have opted to upgrade their midfield, leaving Iori in Serie B with the Seahorses.

Who's In?

Jean-Francois Gillet: The former Bari shot-stopper didn't have quite so much fidelity to Bologna, leaving after just one season to join Torino. Certainly a solid pick-up.

Guillermo Rodriguez: Uruguayan players are hot right now. Buying just the one from Cesena adds to Torino's cool quotient, but they also picked up fellow defender Pablo Cáceres -- now they're smoking.

Alessandro Gazzi: Because what team doesn't want a ginger midfielder?

Gianluca Sansone: Significant pickup from Sassuolo, the forward scored 20 goals in Serie B last season. Of course, B is not A and blah blah blah, but you gotta think he'll be banging a few in this season.

Keep An Eye On

Angelo Ogbonna: the centre-back seemed to play every minute for il Granata last season, and was rewarded for his solid defensive play with a spot in Italy's Euro 2012 squad. Sure, he didn't actually see any playing time in Poland/Ukraine, but it speaks to the abilities of the player anyway. Sometimes, staying up simply means not leaking goals, and Ogbonna will be the one ensuring Torino stay solid.

Predicted Finish

It won't be dramatic, but it'll be solid -- Torino have done enough to strengthen their squad that they will likely find themselves in Serie A again next season.

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