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    Ivan Juric’s Torino: The Fun Side of Serie A

    Ivan Jurić Crotone, 2016 (cropped).png

    Excerpts of the following article by Alex Barker / @EuroExpert_ from January 19, 2022 is courtesy of Breaking The Lines:

    At 1.48 goals-per-game, slightly behind the Bundesliga [1.51] and ahead of the Premier League [1.39], Serie A football has been full of entertainment in 2021/2022.

    Of course, teams like Inter Milan and Napoli have helped boost that total, but even the lower-performing clubs are helping create excitement this season. Torino may not be challenging for Champions League football, but they are another brilliant team to watch.

    On the surface, they look like a simple Italian team focused on defending. Only Juventus and Napoli are conceding less in expected-goals p90, while they’re also 9th in expected goals for p90.

    They currently sit 9th in Serie A, four points off 6th. Yet with the boldly dynamic Josip Brekalo, the adventurous play of Wilfried Singo, and growth in form from Antonio Sanabria and Marko Pjaca, Torino are capable of providing fireworks.

    These players have combined with Hellas Verona hero and heavy metal nut, Ivan Juric. The 46-year-old Croatian manager led Verona to 9th and 10th place finishes after they were promoted to Serie A in 2019. In his first season in Turin, Juric has installed a dynamic style of play in a 3-4-2-1 system that’s got everyone in Italy talking. 

    Torino’s Man-marking Pressing 

    Torino sit 6th in Serie A for possession-adjusted pressures in the final third, ahead of even the likes of Atalanta, Napoli, and Inter Milan. It highlights the approach taken by Juric, in that Torino defend by not letting teams get anywhere near their box.

    There’s an element of Bielsa’s Leeds in Torino, in how they take a man-marking approach to try and limit options for the opposition.

    It’s similar to the tactics that got Hellas Verona promoted from Serie B under Juric, except this season Torino are bolder at pressing higher up the pitch. It has borne fruit too, with Torino forcing a mistake from Empoli earlier in the season, leading to Tommaso Pobega’s opener.

    Spearheading the press from the back three is the Brazilian, Gleison Bremer. The 24-year-old catches the eye on the stats site FBREF, where he’s listed in the top 5% of Serie A centre backs for shots-on-target, pressures, successful pressures, interceptions, ball recoveries and aerials won (all per-90).

    For the rest of the analysis by Alex Barker / @EuroExpert_ from January 19, 2022 is courtesy of Breaking The Lines:

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