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Torino aim for top-half finish as they host mid-table Monza in Serie A (SA) clash

With the Serie A (SA) season nearing its conclusion, both Torino and Monza find themselves with little to play for having already secured safety, while the European places lie far out of reach. All that remains for Ivan Jurić’s Torino side is to secure a second-successive top-half SA finish, a quest that was boosted by what he described as a “dominant” 2-0 win over basement dwellers Sampdoria in midweek.

Torino will likely need to improve their home form to make that happen, with the last four matches they hosted yielding just a single point (D1, L3). A fifth-successive winless SA game at Stadio Olimpico di Torino would be their worst such streak in over a year, but they are going to need their misfiring attack to finally spark into life in order to avoid that fate, as their 13 goals scored at home is worse than only the bottom two sides in the division.

Monza have proved one of the toughest nuts to crack in the league of late, with a run of just one defeat from nine matches helping them secure a second-consecutive season in the top-flight (W4, D4). April’s SA Manager of the Month Raffaele Palladino praised the “courageous” performance his side turned in to come from behind and rescue a 1-1 draw with Roma on Wednesday, a result which marked their fifth straight outing without defeat (W3, D2).

The Biancorossi should hit the road full of confidence then, especially as they’ve lost just one of their last nine away league matches (W5, D3). That sequence includes four wins ‘to nil’, while they now go in search of a third straight top-flight victory on the road for the first time ever. Palladino will be a man light in defence though, with starting centre-back and former Torino man Armando Izzo sentenced to five years in prison during the week for his role in a Serie B betting scandal in 2013/14!

Key battle: Torino talisman Antonio Sanabria has netted both of his last two goals on home soil, while each of his last three have arrived after half-time. To keep that record going he’ll need to get the better of Monza’s Luca Caldirola, who’s netted twice in four matches from centre-back and has never lost against Torino (W1, D2).

Hot stat: Torino are the only side in SA yet to score in the first 15 minutes of a home match this term.

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