WE'VE sealed another stellar signing for the season with Serie A don Paolo Bandini bringing his expertise to the site thanks to our partner Unibet.
Paolo is an Anglo-Italian sportswriter who pens a superb weekly Serie A column for the Guardian and his other credits include ESPN, the BBC and TalkSport as well as making regular appearances on the Football Weekly podcast.
He's a Trevi Fountain of knowledge and we're delighted to have him on board. Here he previews the Friday night game.
Roma v Torino (Fri 7.45pm)
If Edin Dzeko had to miss a game through suspension then perhaps this was the right one. His replacement, Patrick Schick, is yet to score a league goal following his summer transfer from Sampdoria, but has struck in all three career games against Torino. That includes Roma’s Coppa Italia clash with these opponents back in December.
He will be up against a weakened defence, too, as Nicolás Burdisso serves a ban of his own. The centre-back’s likely replacement, Emiliano Moretti, is another 36-year-old, but one who reads the game less well and is more prone to lunging into challenges. That tendency, combined with a mismatch in pace against the 22-year-old Schick, seems like a dangerous mix.
Roma, furthermore, will be high on confidence following a 4-2 win away to Napoli last weekend. The only question is how much else of the team that prevailed at the Stadio San Paolo will be missing. Federico Fazio is also suspended, and Diego Perotti may be rested ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League second leg against Shakhtar Donetsk.
Stephan El Shaarawy is available to replace Perotti, though his own manager acknowledged that the 25-year-old is not in peak physical or mental condition. Torino tried to sign him themselves in the summer, but no longer look so needy in that department after Walter Mazzarri relaunched M’Baye Niang.
Their away form, however, has been poor. The Granata have won just one of their last 10 games on the road.
- Roma 2, Torino 1 (7-1, Unibet)
- Schick to score first (27-5, Unibet)
- Moretti to be carded (9-5, Unibet)
Anglo-Italian Paolo Bandini writes about Italian football for the Guardian and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.