Serie A Tips: Torino can turn things around but Juve are still struggling

Dave Farrar predicts Torino will finally get off the foot of the table by beating Parma as he previews the pick of this weekend's Serie A action and recommends three bets.

Torino's time at last

Parma v Torino
Sunday, 14:00
Live on Premier Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video

If ever there was a club in Serie A that deserved a change of fortune in 2021, it has to be Torino. Whatever you think of Marco Giampaolo, and however lucky you feel that he is to still have a job, you must confess that not too much has gone his way on the field. Torino have improved markedly in the last six weeks or so, but their results barely show it.

The Granata go into the New Year at the bottom of the table, but I don't think that they're likely to stay there. Let's list the series of events that have come their way in recent weeks and consider them ahead of this trip to Parma.

A late Napoli equaliser last time followed a late-ish Bologna equaliser, and a few weeks ago we saw Juve's ridiculous turnaround in the Derby, and prior to that a 2-0 lead thrown away against Inter, the 3-4 madness against Lazio and the concession of two late goals against Sassuolo. This is not a bad team, just one that needs to stay switched on.

Torino have got into bad habits, and have shown patience with Giampaolo, and that must be repaid, starting with this first game of the New Year. Parma look dangerously out of form, and Fabio Liverani is starting to do a pretty good impression of a man who is losing control of his team. They were awful against Juve and Crotone, and Torino will come here thinking that they can win.

I think that Giampaolo's team will get the job done, against a team which has scored fewer goals than any other in the League. They are sinking fast, and Torino could just be on the rise.

Unreliable Juve

Juventus v Udinese
Sunday, 19:45
Live on Premier Sports 2 and Betfair Live Video

The headlines from that crazy midweek round of matches just before Christmas were created by Theo Hernandez and the late goal that sent Milan into the New Year on top of the Serie A table, but the most eyebrow raising result was Juve's home defeat by Fiorentina.

Andrea Pirlo's team had started to look ominously good. It may have taken them a while to get into their stride, but heading into that match against La Viola, Juve had won three out of four Serie A games, and produced arguably their performance of the season in a 4-0 win at Parma.

It was a shock, therefore, to see them slump 3-0 at home against a side as poor as Fiorentina, and it reminded us that the team which has been the most rock solid in Italy for the last nine years can no longer be trusted. They may yet win the title, but it will be an extremely rocky road.

They face an Udinese side who slumped at home against Benevento in their own nightmare before Christmas, and yet the visitors' form on their travels means that we can support them in one aspect of this game. They have scored in four of their six Serie A away games to this point, and they've worked out an effective method against the bigger teams in the Division, the 3-1 win at Lazio a case in point.

Given that Juventus are so untrustworthy, and have kept only one clean sheet in their last six Serie A games, I think that backing both teams to score at around the even money mark makes plenty of sense.

Overs in Bergamo again

Atalanta v Sassuolo
Sunday, 14:00
Live on FreeSports and Betfair Live Video

With the Papu Gomez saga now seemingly put to one side, GPG and Atalanta can concentrate on what they do best, and try to begin the New Year with a surge up the Serie A table.

They remain their inconsistent selves, following that devastating second half display against Roma with the surrender of a two-goal lead against Bologna. Sassuolo are far too good to take those sort of liberties against, and they will feel confident that they can bring something back from Bergamo.

I'm sorely tempted to support the visitors here on the Asian Handicap and certainly wouldn't go anywhere near Atalanta at 1.63, but Gasperini's team do tend to go well fresh, when their small squad isn't tested, and there is a chance that they could sweep Serie A's fifth placed team aside.

One thing that Atalanta have rediscovered is their habit of being involved in high scoring games, and given that they have averaged 3.7 goals per game against Sassuolo in Serie A, and given the way that both teams approach things, I think that there's every chance of more goals here. The price might look a bit skinny, but I think it's right.

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