Torino vs Empoli
2016/17 Italian Serie A.
Date: Sunday, 18 September 2016
Kick-Off: 14:00 UK,
Venue: Stadio Olimpico (Turin).
They both sit on three points, but Torino and Empoli are coming into this game with very different mindsets. The Granata have had an inconsistent start to the nascent campaign, but all of their games indeed have been quite entertaining. A 3-2 loss to AC Milan was followed by a 5-1 thrashing of Bologna. They then followed this up with a 2-1 loss to Atalanta, in which new goalkeeper Joe Hart did not enjoy his Italian debut.
Sinisa Mihajlovic’s side are dealing with a mini injury crisis at the moment, which obviously has not made things easier. Coming into this match, Adem Ljajic and Danilo Avelar are both definitely out, whilst veteran striker Maxi Lopez and the versatile Mirko Valdifiori are both in doubt for Sunday’s tie.
Meanwhile, Empoli picked up their first win of the season by defeating Crotone. However, it was not as comfortable a win as many would have expected of the Azzurri, who really had to dig deep against the debutants. Manuel Pasqual arguably was the star of that match, with his two assists giving the Tuscan side a much needed victory, but their away form is of major concern ahead of this game.
Vincent Laurini makes his return from suspension after serving a one-match ban, which provides the visitors with another first-choice option in defense.
Torino vs Empoli: Head-to-head statistics
- Torino have not beaten Empoli in Serie A since December 2006.
- The last time the Granata defeated the Azzurri (in Serie B) was in October 2011.
- Empoli have lost their past seven away games.
- They’ve also failed to score in five out of their last road fixtures.
- Torino have won 11 out of their last 20 home fixtures against teams ranked below them in the league table.
- Empoli, by contrast have won just one out of their last 20 away games versus sides ranked higher than them in the league table
Torino vs Empoli: Prediction
Torino are struggling with injuries and have not fared well in this fixture. However, Empoli’s bad away record is not something that should be disregarded, as well as their failure to score on the road. The Granata crushed Bologna 5-1 in their only home game of this season and will be fancying their chances. Having seen three points evaporate into zero after giving up an early lead against Atalanta, they will be even more motivated, and Hart will want to put on a good show in front of his new home fans.
Expect Torino to come out on top in this fixture to continue their 100 per cent home win record, and to extend Empoli’s poor away run to eight games. 2-1 for the home side is not an unrealistic score-line.
Torino vs Empoli: Betting tips
Torino to win at 3/4 (1.75)
Both sides to score at 1/1 (2.00).
Get all the Serie A Match Previews, Predictions and Betting Tips at our Prediction Page.