Pippo Inzaghi's men have surprised many since their promotion as second-tier champions last summer, but now face a test of their credentials, as the relegation-threatened teams below them start to narrow the gap.
Seeking to beat Sampdoria for the third straight Serie A time this Sunday, Benevento have never before won three successive games against the same team in the top flight. To do so, however, they will need to arrest a slump in form which has seen the Campanian side pick up just one win since the turn of the year.
Despite their recent travails, Benevento still sit in 12th place thanks to a rapid adaptation to life at the elite level and have picked up 22 points so far this season - one more than they did in the whole of their doomed 2017-18 Serie A campaign.
Defeated 4-0 in their last outing, against Inter at San Siro, the Stregoni's winless streak was extended to four. Never the most defensively sound unit, Inzaghi's previously potent side has also started to stall in attack, so he will gladly welcome back forward Marco Sau from a two-game suspension this week, as the Sardinian striker has been their most prolific frontman since Gianluca Caprari started to go off the boil.
Benevento's joint-top scorer with four goals, Caprari has played 73 games and scored 14 goals for Sampdoria but has been considered surplus to requirements at the Marassi in recent times. Now out on loan for a second successive year, the former Roma primavera player would surely enjoy getting back on the goalscoring trail against his parent club this weekend.
Unusually for a newly-promoted team, Benevento have collected more away points than at home, where they have won just twice this term - only Parma, Torino and Spezia have picked up fewer on home turf so far. Also featuring the second-worst defence in the league, with 40 goals conceded, they will need to improve on both counts if they are to avoid being sucked into a springtime dogfight for survival.
When these two sides last met in September, Sampdoria suffered what seemed to be a humbling 3-2 defeat at Stadio Luigi Ferraris. Before Benevento had earned the respect and admiration of their Serie A peers through a string of enterprising performances, Claudio Ranieri's team were embarrassed to lose what seemed a home banker before kickoff.
Like their opponents, the Blucerchiati have improved considerably since, while developing a reputation for no half measures - Ranieri's inconsistent side have registered just two league draws, with eight wins and ten losses.
Their last outing saw them beaten 2-0 at home by Juventus, leaving them in 10th place in the table - not in genuine contention for European football next season, but also far from any relegation-related strife.
Though their defensive record is commensurate with a side of their current standing, a lack of clean sheets has been the key factor in undermining their quest for consistency - with only two shut-outs achieved to date.
While veteran striker Fabio Quagliarella has yet to produce the goalscoring goods in 2021, Keita Balde and Antonio Candreva have instead come to the fore in attack. Samp's erstwhile Azzurri forward has netted 19 goals in his last 23 matches against promoted teams though - three of which came against Benevento - so will be keen to prove to Ranieri and the socially-distant Blucerchiati faithful that there is still life in the old man yet.
Benevento Serie A form: LWLLDL
Sampdoria Serie A form: LWLWWL
Star striker Fabio Quagliarella is likely to be joined up front by Keita Balde, though January signing Ernesto Torregrossa is pressing for a first start, while a three-way battle for two places in the engine room sees Albin Ekdal, Morten Thorsby and Adrien Silva fighting it out for selection.
Benevento boss Pippo Inzaghi will be without his match-winner from the reverse fixture, as Gaetano Letizia is still struggling with a flexor injury, but hopes to have Alessandro Tuia and Gabriele Moncini - in doubt due to an ankle problem - available on Sunday.
The Giallorosso coach is expected to revert to a 4-3-2-1 setup, thereby abandoning the unsuccessful three-man defence of recent weeks. Therefore, the experienced central pair should be Kamil Glik and Luca Caldirola, with Fabio Depaoli (recently arrived on loan from the visitors) shifting to right-back.
Benevento possible starting lineup:
Montipo; Depaoli, Glik, Caldirola, Barba; Hetemaj, Schiattarella, Ionita; Insigne, Caprari; Lapadula
Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Colley, Augello; Candreva, Ekdal, Silva, Jankto; Keita, Quagliarella
We say: Benevento 2-2 Sampdoria
Hit-or-miss Sampdoria may have to make do with a rare draw at Vigorito this Sunday, with the home side overdue a return to form and potentially reaping the benefits of switching back to a familiar formation.
Benevento are committed to positive principles under Pippo Inzaghi, so can use their attacking resources to strike twice against Samp's breachable backline.