Sixteenth, but with as many points as the first relegation, Benevento, Torino is having a complicated season. With four victories in the return phase, against two in the first leg, the balance sheet since the arrival of Davide Nicola is slightly better than at the start of the season, allowing Toro to extricate themselves from the red zone, without power. move away from it. And if the Torino has shown a better face since the end of January, it owes it in particular to two men, who joined its ranks during the winter transfer window: Mandragora and Sanabria.
Off the pitch for half a season because of his cruciate ligament rupture, Rolando Mandragora was in trouble at Udinese, which is why he joined Piedmont this winter. Despite being 23 years old, the Napoli native already has more than 100 Serie A appearances and has adapted very quickly to his new side. Indeed, he has played every Granata game since his arrival, missing just four minutes from Torino-Napoli, following a sent off for a second yellow card.
Also struggling at the start of the season for Betis, Antonio Sanabria has fully recovered in Italy. Despite being absent in the first three games due to Covid-19, the forward went on to play all of his club’s games, including seven starts in nine outings. Most often aligned with Andrea Belotti, the Paraguayan allows his captain to drop less and have more freedom by weighing on the opposing defense.
In addition to starting, Sanabria and Mandragora gave the Toro valuable points in the contention fight. First, the forward lived up to his expectations with five goals and one assist. If his first two goals count for butter, his double against Juventus and his equalizer against Roma have brought valuable points to his team for maintenance. The former Betis is really an additional weapon for the best attack in the second half of the table (46 goals).
Mandragora, despite his defensive profile, has already equaled his record for goals in one season of three in just a few appearances. Among these achievements, those against Sassuolo and Bologna proved to be decisive. Aligned in the low point of the middle to three of Nicola, Mandragora, thanks to his technical accuracy and his ability to organize the game, brings real added value to the Granata. He is associated with Lukić and more surprisingly, with Simone Verdi. A winger by training, the ex-Napoli has been successfully repositioned as a mezza’ala for several games. While offensively Mandragora is making a difference, his impact on the Granata’s crumbly defense is still fragile, however, with Toro conceding 18 goals in the former Azzurrini’s 12 games. However, for fans of statistics, the average of goals conceded per game since his arrival in the eleven has significantly decreased, from 1.9 to 1.5.
Crotone and Parma already seem doomed to return to Serie B: however, 18th place, also synonymous with relegation, still has no final owner and Torino are in competition with Benevento and Cagliari to avoid this sad fate. Toro currently have one game overdue, but it won’t be easy to glean points against Lazio in the race for the Champions League. The remaining five days will offer three direct competitors to the men of President Urbano Caïro, with in particular a possible final for the maintenance, by welcoming Benevento on May 23, on the last day. But before that, Torino starts tonight with the reception of Parma (19th) and could take advantage of the Stregoni’s backhand on Saturday to move away from the red zone. If Sanabria should start, this will not be the case for Mandragora, who will serve a game of suspension. However, the two winter recruits will still be called upon to definitively save Torino.
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