The reigning champions have long dominated inter-city rivalries, but their manager acknowledges that Torino’s forwards will present a tough test on Sunday
Massimiliano Allegri believes Juventus are in greater danger of a rare Turin derby defeat than in recent years against a Torino side blessed with a wealth of attacking talent.
Torino have won just one of their last 20 league matches against the defending Serie A champions, albeit that came last April in a 2-1 home win.
Juve visit Turin’s Stadio Olimpico four points clear at the top of Serie A, with Torino 11 points behind the leaders.
But Torino possess one of the league’s top scorers in Italy striker Andrea Belotti, who has 10 goals to his name, while Iago Falque has scored seven times and Adem Ljajic has found the net on five occasions.
And Allegri is very wary of Torino’s forward line, telling a pre-match media conference: “We’ll see whether experience or youthful exuberance wins out.
“It will be a very difficult game, as Torino are among the top scorers in Serie A and have great forwards like Iago Falque, Adem Ljajic and Andrea Belotti.
“The derby is a special occasion. I think actually having a midweek game [against Dinamo Zagreb] was helpful, because we couldn’t get too wrapped up in thinking about the derby.
“It’s a very keenly-felt derby and beating Toro is always difficult, as we’ve seen over my two years at Juve. It will be even more hard-fought, but I repeat Toro are much more technically-gifted than past Torino teams.
“They don’t resemble the old-fashioned Granata stereotype, which is what makes this a much more dangerous match for Juve.”
A meeting with an attack of Torino’s quality figures to be especially testing for a Juve side without defenders Leonardo Bonucci, Dani Alves and Andrea Barzagli, though the latter is poised to return ahead of next week’s clash with Roma.
“The good news is that Barzagli is training and as soon as he gets the all-clear on the shoulder he should be able to play, so hopefully next week,” Allegri added
“It’s probable we will play with four at the back, especially as Torino have three strikers, but I still have to make a decision on that too.”