Coming into Match Day 14, both Palermo and Torino find themselves in mid-table, with the Rosanero sitting in 12th on 17 points and Torino in 15th on 12 points.
The Rosanero look to continue from their strong November that tallied them eight points from good competition. The recent run of form Palermo is due to coming of age of Paulo Dybala. The Argentine has been in excellent form this season bagging six goals and is the hottest name in all of European soccer at the moment and is drawing masses of attention from the Premier League, with the likes of Arsenal, and Liverpool reportedly interested. Dybala has teamed up exceptionally with his compatriot Franco Vazquez. The tandem have accounted for nearly 65% of all the Palermo offense this year. The showcasing of Dybala has led to Andrea “Il Gallo” Belotti being put on sort of the back burner as the first option off the bench. It will be interesting to see how Coach Beppe Iachini deploys his squad to match up against Torino.
Iachini could opt for his beloved 3-5-2 formation or he could switch it up and have Palermo play a more attacking style of game against the back line of Torino who rarely concede at home. Palermo need to play an attacking style and get shots on Jean-Francois Gillet who has let in 11 goals all year long. Captain Edgar Barreto and Franco Vazquez miss out due to yellow card accumulation leaving space for two of Ivaylo Chochev, Luca Rigoni, Francesco Bolzoni or even Robin Quaison to take his place in the midfield and Andrea Belotti to start up top.
Another story within the story is all the former Rosanero that are in the Torino squad. On Saturday, the Rosanero will face four ex players: Kamil Glik, Cesare Bovo, Matteo Darmian and Amauri. It’s disappointing to see how well some of these players have fared since they left the Renzo Barbera. Matteo Darmian is now becoming a staple in Antonio Conte’s Azzurri side and has drawn interest from some of the biggest Italian sides. Who would have thought Kamil Glik would turn into the defender he’s become and is now captaining Il Toro? Cesare Bovo is a solid veteran, even if he’s not the defender he used to be. Then there is Amauri who left a tremendous legacy with the Sicilian side.
Torino’s recent form is discouraging for their fans, as they have not collected a win since the 29th of October and only won one point all of November. The weight of playing in three competitions is definitely putting stress on Torino. The Europa League seems to be primary focus of the club right now as they have had more success in group play than they have this year in Serie A. Torino is truly suffering from the loss of Ciro Immobile in the summer to German side Borussia Dortmund. They have failed to replace his goal output that made him one of the top scorers last season in Serie A. Fabio Quagliarella is the leader with four goals, but it hasn’t been enough in most cases.
Palermo will certainly see a lot of familiar faces, but this will be anything but smiles all around. This match will be a grind it out type of match that resembles the true essence of Calcio.