After last weekend’s pulsating Rome derby, Serie A turns its eyes to the north. The Derby della Mole takes centre stage at the Stadio Olimpico Grande where Torino host runaway league leaders and fierce local rivals, Juventus.
Torino v Juventus
Juve took the honours last season, winning 4 – 1 and 2 – 1 when the two sides met in Serie A, adding insult to injury with a 4 – 0 thrashing in the last sixteen of the Coppa Italia.
The Bianconeri are a mixed bag away from home this time around, winning four and losing three, most recently at Genoa a fortnight ago. It’s a matter of concern for Max Allegri that the only side in the top seven they have beaten on their travels is Lazio. In the big games in the north, Inter beat them 2 – 1 and Milan won 1 – 0.
Even so, they are on track to retain their title, four points clear of second placed Roma and third placed Milan.
Torino meanwhile are unbeaten at home. Only Empoli and Lazio have emerged from the fortress unscathed, with Roma Il Toro’s most notable scalp so far.
Joe Hart has been a key figure. The England goalkeeper has settled well in Turin and after some nervousness initially led to costly errors, he has found his form conceding only eight goals at home so far and at 33/10 with Comeon!, Hart to keep a clean sheet is a tempting little bet
Little wrinkles appear sometimes. This season marks the 40th anniversary of the last time the away side won in this derby when held in December. That was Torino, 2 – 0 at Juve in 1976. A year later the two sides fought each other to a standstill on 11th December; is this third time lucky for La Vecchia Signora?
Roma v Milan
Monday night football is an absolute cracker. Second hosts third with Roma on fire after last week’s 2 – 0 win in the Rome derby. Milan though have come up on the rails with one defeat in the last dozen games, claiming the scalps of Lazio and Juve along the way.
Milan haven’t taken all three points in this fixture since 2011 but four of the last seven meetings between the two sides have ended in draws, including the last two in Rome.
The Rossoneri are the division’s form team on their travels, picking up thirteen points whilst Roma’s record of seven straight home wins is only bettered by Juve.
In Edin Dzeko, Roma has the Serie A leading scorer in their ranks but as important has been former Chelsea player, Mo Salah with 8 goals and 4 assists, with the pair combining for three of Dzeko’s goals.
Milan are no slouches in front of goal either, with Suso netting five and creating an impressive six so far this season.
Salah will be an interesting pick in the anytime scorer stakes but Comeon! are quoting 7/2 for a score draw at the final whistle although at 11/1 No 1st goal is a good shout, particularly as three of the last seven of this fixture in Rome has ended goalless.