Torino’s Terrifying Duo

Torino FC has had a tumultuous history like very few clubs.   Being the second and lesser known of the two in Turin, Torino has become an afterthought when put in comparison to their archrivals, Juventus.  However, this was not always so.  After forming in 1906, Torino was the first club to win the domestic double in 1942 (Serie A and Coppa Italia).  From their formation to 1949, “Il Grande Torino” won 6 titles until the infamous “Superga Tragedy” plane crash, claiming the lives of the entire first team, reserves, two managers and technicians.  The squad included 10 players from the Italian national team.  The club has only claimed the Italian Championship once since, in the 1975-76 season.  Little did “I Granata” know, their early troubles were only a foreshadow of unfortunate events to come.  After winning the Coppa Italia in 1993, the squad was dismantled due to financial problems.  In 1995, the club was relegated again to Serie B.  They soon gained promotion in 1998-99 after finishing second in Serie B.  After going back and forth between first and second divisions, in August 2005, the club was forced to file for bankruptcy.

Since the rebirth of the club in 2005, Torino has played against Serie A competition in 5 of the last 11 seasons including the present one.  Last year they finished in 16th out of 20, escaping relegation by 7 points.  However, it may seem this back and forth action has come to an end with the successful signings of Ciro Immobile and Alessio Cerci.  Thanks in large part to these two playmaking goal scorers, Torino is sitting in 8th place, only 3 points from a Europe League slot.

The duo has chalked up 24 goals so far this season, which is second only to Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez’s 25.  Juventus is sitting comfortable in first place clear by 11 points.  Torino is 8th place with nearly half Juve’s point total and still the striking duo is just as impressive.  Napoli is third with Gonzalo Higuain and Jose Callejon’s combined total of 21 goals.  Both strikers are having a stellar year after being signed this summer by the Partenopei, and still even with an overall better Napoli squad, Cerci and Immobile are performing better while carrying Torino on their backs.

Serie A Strike Partnerships

Alessio Cerci Ciro Immobile Torino Total
Goals 11 13 24
Assists 8 2 10
Arturo Vidal Carlos Tévez Juve Total
Goals 11 14 25
Assists 5 6 11
Gonzalo Higuaín José Callejón Napoli Total
Goals 12 9 21
Assists 7 1 8
Rodrigo Palacio Yuto Nagatomo Inter Total
Goals 11 5 16
Assists 5 4 9
Antonio Cassano Marco Parolo Parma Total
Goals 8 6 14
Assists 5 4 9
Kaka Mario Balotelli Milan Total
Goals 5 10 15
Assists 2 3 5
Antonio Candreva Miroslav Klose Lazio Total
Goals 7 6 13
Assists 5 1 6

Not only is the dynamic duo of Turin performing consistently, they’re seeing minutes and lots of them.  As to date in the season, combined, Cerci and Immobile have the third highest minutes played among the top clubs in comparison to their respective top scorers.  Cerci and Immobile have played 612 minutes more than a trio of Roma’s best attacking options.  Alessio Cerci individually has played the third most minutes of all players being compared with 2,026.  That’s an average of 81.04 minutes per game.  Almost an entire game, every game, all season.  To say he is an important piece to their success is an understatement.  Combined they are only 409 minutes behind Inter’s Palacio and Nagatomo who have the highest total at 4,138 minutes.  Torino relies mostly on Cerci and Immobile so it is only normal they are required to rest to avoid injury.

Alessio Cerci Ciro Immobile Torino Total
Minutes Played 2,026 1,703 3,729
Arturo Vidal Carlos Tévez Juve Total
Minutes Played 1,985 1,891 3,876
Gonzalo Higuaín José Callejón Napoli Total
Minutes Played 1,743 1,755 3,498
Rodrigo Palacio Yuto Nagatomo Inter Total
Minutes Played 2,116 2,022 4,138
Antonio Cassano Marco Parolo Parma Total
Minutes Played 1,676 1,961 3,637
Kaka Mario Balotelli Milan Total
Minutes Played 1,405 1,499 2,904
Antonio Candreva Miroslav Klose Lazio Total
Minutes Played 2,143 1,564 3,707
Francesco Totti Gervinho Mattia Destro Roma Total
Minutes Played 972 1,618 527 3,117

Given the amount of reliance Torino has on these two, it’s worth noting that they how consistent they have been.  They have one of the best pairings not only for goals scored and created, but also their shot assist conversion rate, shot conversion rate and shot accuracy.  This is also of huge importance because the more shots on target there are, the better chance a follow-up rebound goal will occur.  Alessio Cerci has the third highest shot assist conversion rate at 21.62%.  The only two ahead of him are Higuain and Destro at 31.82% and 33.33% respectively.  Both Napoli and Roma are at least 15 points ahead of Torino, which goes to show Cerci is certainly pulling his own weight in responsibility.  The Torino pair have almost identical shot accuracy at 43.75% and 43.33%, which shows how dependable they are.  Considering most joint goal scorers have one or both players shooting in the 30% range, Cerci and Immobile are on point this season.

Torino
Shot Assist Conversion %
Shot Conversion %
Shot Accuracy
Alessio Cerci 21.62% 13.75% 43.75%
Ciro Immobile 13.33% 21.67% 43.33%
Arturo Vidal 11.63% 20.75% 33.96%
Carlos Tévez 12.77% 14.74% 44.21%
Francesco Totti 17.07% 14.29% 40.00%
Gervinho 17.14% 14.71% 52.94%
Mattia Destro 33.33% 37.50% 62.50%
Gonzalo Higuaín 31.82% 17.91% 44.78%
José Callejón 3.57% 25.00% 44.44%
Rodrigo Palacio 14.71% 18.03% 40.98%
Yuto Nagatomo 14.29% 20.00% 60.00%
Antonio Cassano 8.33% 25.00% 50.00%
Marco Parolo 18.18% 12.77% 31.91%
Kaka 4.76% 11.90% 30.95%
Mario Balotelli 18.75% 9.52% 39.05%
Antonio Candreva 10.20% 9.33% 29.33%
Miroslav Klose 10.00% 17.14% 40.00%

These results tower over their city rivals Juventus.  Immobile’s shot assist conversion % is higher than either Juve striker, and Cerci’s almost doubles the two strikers combined.  Not only are they creating shots for themselves, they are supplying opportunities for teammates, which can be just as lethal.  Only Napoli and Roma have two strikers each with higher shooting accuracy.

To further my point, they have the highest number of big chances created.  They have seized their opportunities when it counts.  Roma, Inter and Parma are tied at 10 apiece.  Mind you, Roma is being compared with 3 players.  Torino is atop the table with 11 total.  Juve has three less than their rivals even though they remain atop the table.  The biggest surprise surely is Milan’s results.  Kaka and Balotelli have a mere 5 big chances created in total.  But that is just the tip of the iceberg concerning their issues.

Big Chances Created
Alessio Cerci 9
Ciro Immobile 2
Torino Total 11
Arturo Vidal 4
Carlos Tévez 4
Juve Total 8
Francesco Totti 3
Gervinho 5
Mattia Destro 2
Roma Total 10
Gonzalo Higuaín 3
José Callejón 5
Napoli Total 8
Rodrigo Palacio 5
Yuto Nagatomo 5
Inter Total 10
Antonio Cassano 8
Marco Parolo 2
Parma Total 10
Kaka 3
Mario Balotelli 2
Milan Total 5
Antonio Candreva 4
Miroslav Klose 0
Lazio Total 4

It’s become quite clear how much Torino relies on the threatening duo.  Without them, who knows if the club would even be clear of relegation status.  Given the relatively young ages of Immobile (24) and Cerci (26), hopefully for the club’s sake, they can retain both offensive threats in the offseason transfer window.  Both are gems for the club with a promising future.  Should they remain in Turin for the foreseeable future, bigger things are surely to come for a club that has endured so much.

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