Udinese vs Torino, Preview: Toro look to extend unbeaten run in Friuli trip

Valerio Pennicino

Promoted via the playoffs last season, Torino have adapted to life in Serie A well, and they are unbeaten in their last seven. They travel west to play Udinese in this one.

Udinese aren't in bad shape themselves, seeing off Inter Milan, Fiorentina and Siena in their last five games, albeit alongside defeats to Juventus and AC Milan. They sit just five points ahead of 11th place Torino in ninth, having recovered from a shaky start to the season well.

Their 2-1 defeat to the rossoneri last weekend was only the result of a harsh penalty decision, while Torino come into this one on the back of a goalless draw with Sampdoria.

The zebrette have lost just once at home this season, with the Friuli something of a fortress for Francesco Guidolin's side. Torino are the king of draws on the road, having done so eight times away from the Stadio Olimpico di Torino this season -- more than anyone else in the division.

The obvious threat to their defence is posed by the evergreen Antonio Di Natale, who continues to bang in the goals as the seasons go by. He's scored 14 times now this season, with four in his last five. Torino's main attacking threat, Rolando Bianchi, will miss this one through injury.

Unfortunately, their next top scorer is Alessio Cerci on just three, meaning that they could struggle to net against such a miserly Udinese defence -- particularly with the zebrette at home. However, Cerci has the potential to change a game, and his six assists are not to be sniffed at.

Udinese will be without goalkeeper Željko Brkić through injury, while Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu won't return from AFCON duty in time to be involved. Suspensions are also a concern for coach Guidolin, with first teamers Andrea Lazzari and Danilo out injured.

Alongside Bianchi, Torino have Abou Diop injured, though the teenage striker has only made one appearance so far this season, so his absence won't be too concerning. They have no players suspended.

Udinese Injuries and Suspensions:

Out: Željko Brkić (injured) Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu (international duty) Andrea Lazzari, Danilo (suspended)

Torino Injuries and Suspensions:

Out: Rolando Bianchi, Abou Diop (injured)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 10th February 2013 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. E.T.

Venue: Stadio Friuli, Udine, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 4 (Italy)

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