Fiorentina will continue their pursuit of European football when they visit mid-table Torino on Monday evening, with the visitors looking to close the gap to fifth-placed Juventus.
Originally scheduled for the weekend, a Covid outbreak meant the fixture was hastily rearranged, and the hosts Torino will be keen to kick 2022 off with a bang.
One of the standout sides in this season’s Serie A, Fiorentina have excited with their fast-paced, free-flowing football so far.
After arriving from Spezia in the summer, manager Vincenzo Italiano has excelled in his role of Fiorentina boss, winning 10 of his 19 league matches in charge.
Without the distraction of European football this season, Fiorentina have been able to focus all their assets on a blossoming Serie A campaign, and enter the new year on the brink of a return to the continental stage.
Last competing in Europe during the 2016-17 season, Italiano’s side currently sit in the Europa Conference League positions, and a win on Monday would have resulted in them climbing into the Europa League positions had Juventus not defeated Roma.
Much of their strong form this season has been down to the performances of star-man Dusan Vlahovic, who has netted 16 goals so far, despite drawing a blank in his last match against Hellas Verona.
Vlahovic has netted in six of his last eight Serie A outings, and the 21-year-old has only failed to score in back-to-back games once this season, suggesting that the Torino defenders could be in for a long afternoon.
Patchy form has plagued Torino’s season so far, with the Bulls having won consecutive matches in Serie A only once this term.
Currently hovering around mid-table without the threat of relegation, Ivan Juric will be keen to see his side climb the division in 2022.
Surprisingly, despite their mid-table status, Torino do boast one of the division’s shrewdest defences, conceding just 19 times in their 19 matches so far.
Only leaders Inter Milan, third-placed Napoli and European-chasing Juventus have conceded fewer in the top flight, with the Bulls’ clear issue being down the other end.
No side outside above 16th have scored fewer goals than Torino’s 23, with Juric’s side having netted two or more goals only twice this season.
Improving that record against an in-form Fiorentina could prove difficult, not least as Torino are winless in their previous five matches against the Viola.
Slender 2-1 victors the previous time that the pair met this season, Fiorentina will be looking to complete the double over Torino for the first time since 2017-18 on Monday.
Torino Serie A form:
Torino form (all competitions):
Fiorentina Serie A form:
Fiorentina form (all competitions):
We say: Torino 0-2 Fiorentina
Few sides have impressed in Serie A more than Fiorentina this season, with the Viola starting 2022 a strong bet to challenge for a high league finish.
Taking points against Torino should not be an issue for the visitors, with Fiorentina likely winners in Monday’s clash.