Udinese vs Torino Preview

Two of Torino's winter signings are itching to play some part in the Granata's remarkable first season back in Serie A, which continues at Udinese on Sunday.

... and they celebrate their second goal!

Il Toro were backed to struggle after ending a three-year stint in Serie B but head coach Giampiero Ventura has guided his side into a comfortable mid-table position.

Brazilian forward Jonathas made his debut from the bench as Torino went seven games unbeaten courtesy of a goalless draw with Sampdoria, while goalkeeper Ferdinando Coppola has returned to the Stadio Olimpico as Jean-Francois Gillet's understudy.

Jonathas told Tuttosport: "Ventura is a great coach and he keeps me on the field at the end of training to explain a few moves and set-pieces with me.

"We have a lot of quality in attack but it's up to the coach to pick the team. I'm here to work and contribute whenever I can."

Former AC Milan keeper Coppola, 34, is reasonably prepared to bide his time with his Belgian colleague Gillet in fine form.

"It's a squad built on the great foundations from last season," Coppola said.

"I've got a great desire to put the gloves back on and get back into the changing room. Gillet is my ally and not my enemy but if I get a chance to play then I will relish it."

Angelo Ogbonna edges ever closer to making a full return from injury but fellow defender Abour Diop remains sidelined.

Udinese's players were last seen surrounding the referee as Milan were awarded a stoppage-time penalty for what appeared to be an innocuous challenge on Stephan El Shaarawy from Thomas Heurtaux.

Mario Balotelli converted the spot-kick to seal a 2-1 win, sending the Zebrette home with nothing.

Head coach Francesco Guidolin said: "We're not talking about Sunday any more. Let bygones be bygones.

"Torino will be a tough challenge. It will be a game in which there is some element of a survival battle for both sides.

"We know they are in great shape and are having a great season. They get points away from Turin and take some good results home with them.

"For that reason we need to concentrate fully on the smallest details."

Goalkeeper Zeljko Brkic and defender Emmanuel Badu are unavailable, with midfielder Andrea Lazzarri serving a one-match suspension.

Torino have failed to win at the Stadio Friuli in over 20 years but they have not tried their luck in Udine since October 2008.

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