Best Odds: 4/1
Bookmakers: Bet 365
The Serie A’s fifth and sixth teams go head to head as Roma host Sampdoria for a high-profile clash on Sunday. The Giallorossi could leapfrog fourth place Inter Milan with a win here, thus occupying the final Champions League spot. The visitors meanwhile are having a decent season, and a win would reduce the gap between them and their opponents to four points. With the two teams having played out a 1-1 draw earlier in the week, they will both be looking to improve that result at the weekend.
Marco Giampaolo’s men finished 11th in the Serie A last season, so the fact that they are currently sitting in a Europa League qualifying spot can be regarded as a huge success. Sampdoria have also scored more goals than both Roma and Inter Milan this season, and have been frighteningly efficient at home. The Blucerchiati won their last game 1-3 away at Fiorentina before drawing 1-1 with Roma on Wednesday, so they should have some confidence heading into this encounter. The Fiorentina win did however represent only their second win in eight games across all competitions. There is little doubt of this team’s talent however, as proved by their 3-2 win over champions Juventus back in November.
Where Samp have fallen down this season is at the back, and they have leaked an almighty 31 goals in this campaign so far. That figure gives them the worst defensive record of any team inside the top half, and many of their games have been high-scoring affairs. Their 40 goals scored have allowed them to edge out a fair few wins from such games, but until Giampaolo can sort out his team’s defence it could be difficult for them to finish as high as a Champions League spot.
Dodo is the only doubt for Samp, and the fullback could be side-lined due to illness.
The Giallorossi head into this game off the back of consecutive 1-1 draws away at Inter Milan and Sampdoria, which would have represented two decent points if they didn’t also increase their winless streak to six games in all competitions. Their season has been largely defined by a number of costly draws and narrow losses, most of which have been symptomatic of a general lack of goals. With 32 goals scored in this campaign, Roma are the lowest scoring side in the top six, and they could well be set to lose star striker Edin Dzeko to Chelsea in this January transfer window.
There have been positives too however, the most evident of which is the defensive prowess of Eusebio Di Francesco side. Roma have conceded half the amount of goals that they have scored, with just 16 against them this season, making them the third best defensive side in the league after Napoli and Juventus. Their stingy back line has been able to somewhat counteract the misfiring offence by grinding out some narrow victories, and it is this that has allowed them to stay in the hunt for a Champions League spot.
Diego Perotti’s thigh injury will keep him out of this clash, but he should return in February. Maxime Gonalons meanwhile will also miss out due to a calf issue, while Rick Karsdorp is out until April with a cruciate ligament injury.
Key Factors to Consider
- Sampdoria have conceded a whopping 31 goals so far this season.
- They have also lost seven times, which is the most of any team inside the top six.
- Roma have conceded just 16 times, giving them the third best defensive record in the league.
- The Giallorossi have also only lost four times this season, and only one of those defeats has come away from home.
- Roma also boast the best defensive record away from home in the league.
It’s a relatively bold prediction today, mainly because it’s difficult to work out which side will be feeling more comfortable in this game. Roma haven’t won in their last six games across all competitions, but they should have enough to match Samp here, and the 1-1 draw on Wednesday proved that these sides are fairly evenly matched.
Best Odds: 4/1
Bookmakers: Bet 365
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!