We move into the third qualifying round of the Europa League as Serie A side Torino take on Belarusian outfit Shakhtyor Soligorsk. The home team are expected to pick up the win in this first leg and give themselves a good chance of finishing off the job in a week’s time.
Where and when: Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino – 8 August, kick-off 20:00
Where you can see Torino vs. Shakhtyor Soligorsk: William Hill live streaming
Last time: We break new ground with this fixture, as this is the first time these two teams have ever faced each other.
Torino v Shakhtyor Soligorsk Predictions and Preview
Torino come into their Europa League qualifying campaign on the back of an excellent season in Serie A. Shakhtyor Soligorsk meanwhile have been performing well in the Belarusian Premier League, although that’s not expected to count for much as they come up against a much stronger opponent on Thursday night.
Walter Mazzarri’s side finished four points above Lazio to secure seventh place and entry into the second round of qualifying, where they comfortably saw off Debrecen with a 7-1 aggregate victory. With Andrea Belotti and Simone Zaza on target in both legs, Il Toro have the firepower to see off their opponents once again this week.
Shakhtyor meanwhile have beaten Scottish Premiership outfit Hibernian and Danish side Esbjerg in their first two rounds of qualifying, keeping a clean sheet in all four games so far. They will be hoping that their fitness levels and miserly defence will stand them in good stead for a result here.
|Torino to win to nil||4/6||Offer|
|Andrea Belotti to score first||13/5||Offer|
|Torino to win 4-1||18/1||Offer|
The Miners are midway through their domestic season, so they should be fully up to speed compared to their hosts, who’ve only played a few games prior to the start of their Serie A campaign towards the end of August.
Quite how fit the visiting players will be compared to a Torino side who are steadily gearing up for the new season remains to be seen, but it’s unlikely to affect the outcome of this fixture. The bookmakers certainly don’t seem to think so, with the Granata the heavy favourites for the victory at 3/14.
If you fancy what would be a huge shock, Shakhtyor are available at 19/1 for the win. A draw would be seen as a brilliant result for the visitors though, and would give them a sniff of completing a major upset in the return back on home soil. The stalemate is priced at 28/5.
One to watch for Torino: Andrea Belotti fired in 17 goals in 39 appearances last season, and the Italian striker is the 13/5 favourite to open the scoring in this one.
One to watch for Shakhtyor Soligorsk: Elis Bakaj is Shakhtyor’s top scorer in the league this season, netting six goals in 13 appearances. He is out at 20/1 to upset the odds by breaking the deadlock.
Long shot: Torino beat Debrecen 4-1 away in their last fixture, and Il Toro are available at 18/1 to repeat that scoreline in this game.