Torino vs. Napoli, Preview: Toro could effectively hand their rivals the title

Marco Luzzani

With Juventus' lead over Napoli nine points at the start of the round, should the bianconeri's cross-town rivals Torino cause an upset on Sunday, the title race will be virtually over.

That's not to say that Napoli have much of a chance even if they pick up three points at the Olimpico. Still dogged by the same inconsistencies which has seen them fall short in the last few seasons, second place now looks like the best they can hope for. A win here will keep them just about in touch, though they'd need something not too short of a miracle to win the Scudetto.

Worryingly, Torino have had success against the partenopei in recent years, and the last time that Napoli won against them was an away match in March 2004. That season Toro finished three points ahead of the Neapolitans as both sides cruised to mid-table finishes -- in Italy's second tier.

This season Torino don't have much to fight for again. Promoted from Serie B for this campaign, they've adapted well. They won't make it into Europe and almost certainly won't be relegated, so putting on a show for their fans will be the intention of Giampiero Ventura's side -- though it probably won't be a very visually-spectacular one. A counter-attacking team heavily reliant on the newly-capped Italian winger Alessio Cerci, stopping Napoli scoring will be their top priority.

They'll will be without the impressive Valter Birsa, and Roma loanee Matteo Brighi. For Napoli, Morgan De Sanctis is in doubt after he picked up an elbow injury on international duty, meaning Antonio Rosati -- who has only played one league game in the last couple of seasons combined -- should step into the breach. Neither side has any other worries.

Torino Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Valter Birsa and Matteo Brighi (injured)

Napoli Injuries and Suspensions

In doubt: Morgan De Sanctis

Match Date/Time: Saturday 30th March 2013 9 p.m. local, 3 p.m. E.T.

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Turin, Italy

TV: Premium Calcio, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy) RAI Internazionale (U.S.) ESPN UK / HD (U.K.)

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