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Empoli logo
Serie A | Gameweek 31
Apr 6, 2024 at 7.45pm UK
Stadio Carlo Castellani
Torino logo

3 - 2

Cambiaghi (6'), Cancellieri (74'), Niang (90+4')
Walukiewicz (11'), Cerri (27')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Zapata (60', 90+1')
Zapata (39')

Preview: Empoli vs. Torino - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Empoli and Torino, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Davide Nicola hopes his Empoli side find the net in Serie A's gameweek 31 action this weekend when they host Torino at Stadio Carlo Castellani on Saturday.

The Azzurri slipped into the bottom three due to Easter Monday's defeat to champions-elect Inter Milan, and the away side extended their unbeaten streak to four games with a narrow victory over Monza.

Match preview

Empoli coach Davide Nicola before the match on January 27, 2024© Reuters

Nicola made an immediate impact at Empoli by guiding the Tuscany club to a six-match undefeated run that included a creditable point at Juventus, but a four-game losing sequence has dampened the mood at the Castellani.

Perhaps more worrying for the manager is the club's inability to find the back of the net, failing to score in those four defeats, with the latest coming at Inter on Monday.

Despite pushing the Nerazzurri back for a spell at San Siro, the Azzurri could not capitalise on their best period in the game, and the strugglers were duly punished by Alexis Sanchez's 81st-minute goal that doubled the league-leading club's advantage.

Even though the last two matches at the Castellani have ended in defeat, the home support can find hope in their commendable home record against Torino, losing one in front of their fans in 11 matches in Serie A, even if seven of the other 10 meetings have been tied.

The broader history of this fixture points to Empoli avoiding defeat as they hope to halt their ongoing streak of defeats, keen to leave the bottom three. That is a possibility with Frosinone level with Nicola's men on 25 points, while Cagliari (27), Hellas Verona (27), Udinese (28) and Lecce (29) are not that far ahead.

Torino's Alessandro Buongiorno celebrates scoring their third goal with teammates on January 7, 2024© Reuters

Torino aim to pile more misery on the bottom-three side, looking to do the double over their opponent for the first time in their history.

Ivan Juric's men are undoubtedly in a favourable position to claim two wins over the home side, having won two on the trot and avoided losing in four consecutive matches heading into Saturday's clash.

Since losing to Lazio (2-0) and Roma (3-2) in February, the Granata have kept three clean sheets in their recent four games, conceding only against Napoli at the Maradona in a 1-1 draw on March 8.

Only Inter have kept more shut-outs than the Turin-based club, boding well for their prospects to keep climbing the table in the hunt for European football next season. The previous round's victory over Monza saw Juric's troops leapfrog the Biancorossi and Fiorentina to move into ninth, one point off Napoli and two off Lazio, though they sit six adrift of sixth-placed Atalanta BC.

Beating Empoli at the Castellani not only sees Torino do the double on the Azzurri for the first time but potentially takes them closer to a European berth, with La Dea travelling to relegation-threatened Cagliari who have not lost at home in three games (five points).

Empoli Serie A form:

Torino Serie A form:

Team News

Empoli's Youssef Malehin action on January 7, 2024© Reuters

Nigeria international Tyronne Ebuehi will not play again for Empoli this season after suffering a season-ending knee injury in March.

Alberto Grassi has not played since February because of a muscle injury, and the defensive midfielder is not expected to partake in this weekend's meeting with Torino.

M'Baye Niang has fired blanks in the last four games, having netted in his first three appearances for the Azzurri. Unsurprisingly, no teammate has recorded more shots (17), efforts on target (six) and goals (three) since the Senegalese made his debut on February 9.

Koffi Djidji's injury-hit season suffered a recent setback as the centre-back's muscle problem possibly rules him out of Saturday's action at Empoli.

Gvidas Gineitis is out with a knee injury, and Ivan Ilic is not expected back this weekend because of a ligament issue.

Only Inter's Yann Sommer (17) has kept more clean sheets than Vanja Milinkovic-Savic (15), and the Torino goalkeeper seeks his 16th of the campaign.

At the other end, Antonio Sanabria aims to score in consecutive Serie A matches for the first time since February 2023, having netted the only goal in the Maroons' 1-0 triumph over Monza.

Empoli possible starting lineup:
Caprile; Ismajli, Walukiewicz, Luperto; Gyasi, Zurkowski, Marin, Maleh, Pezzella; Niang, Cambiaghi

Torino possible starting lineup:
Milinkovic-Savic; Tameze, Buongiorno, Rodriguez; Bellanova, Linetty, Ricci, Lazaro; Vlasic; Sanabria, Zapata

SM words green background

We say: Empoli 1-1 Torino

Regardless of Empoli's form, Saturday's match is a tough one to call. Nevertheless, Nicola's men have stayed competitive and could eke out a draw against a Torino side that have never done the double over the Azzurri in Serie A.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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