MX23RW : Monday, August 2 16:31:36| >> :600:111897:111897:
May 26, 2019 at 5pm UK at Stadio Luigi Ferraris
Attendance: 22,856
Defrel (84'), Caprari (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Preview: Sampdoria vs. Juventus - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Sampdoria and Juventus, including team news and predicted lineups.

Italian champions Juventus will bring their 2018-19 campaign to a close on Sunday with a trip to Sampdoria in Serie A.

The Old Lady secured their eighth straight title with a victory over Fiorentina on April 20 but have not won since, drawing three and losing one of their last four league fixtures.


Sampdoria midfielder Dennis Praet in action against Juventus in December, 2018© Reuters

Sampdoria will post their best finish in Serie A since the 2014-15 season but it has been a difficult spell for I Blucerchiati, who have only been victorious in one of their last eight league fixtures.

Indeed, not since a 2-0 home success over Genoa on April 14 have Sampdoria collected all three points in a league game. They have lost three of their last five in Italy's top flight, including a 2-1 home defeat to Empoli on May 12.

Marco Giampaolo's team will enter the match off the back of a goalless draw at Chievo last time out, though, and as mentioned, will finish in their highest position for four years. La Samp are ninth in the table on 50 points, seven points clear of 10th-placed Sassuolo and nine points behind eighth-placed Lazio.

As a result, Sampdoria will finish ninth regardless of what happens on the final weekend. Not since the 2014-15 season have the club posted higher than a 10th-placed finish and despite a poor run over the last few months, it has to go down as a successful campaign.

Juve have won the last two league meetings between the two teams but Sampdoria recorded a 3-2 victory when the pair last locked horns at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris back in November 2017.

Giampaolo's side have also managed nine home wins in the league this season, the pick of which was a 3-0 success over Napoli back in September. As a result, Juve will have to be much better than they have been in recent weeks if they wish to collect all three points.

What's more, Sampdoria have the leading scorer in Serie A this season with Fabio Quagliarella enjoying another fine campaign. The 36-year-old has registered 26 times in Italy's top flight this term and will be desperate to find the back of the net against his former club on Sunday night.

Quagliarella's form in attack has been key when considering that La Samp have shipped 51 goals in Serie A this season, which is just six fewer than 18th-placed Genoa, who could be relegated this weekend.

Recent form: WLLDLD


Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri pictured in May 2019© Reuters

Sunday's clash at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris will signal Massimiliano Allegri's final match in charge of Juve. Allegri has been in charge of the Old Lady since 2014, winning five straight Serie A titles, four Coppa Italia crowns and two Italian Super Cups.

Allegri has also led the Turin giants to two Champions League finals but it is perhaps their failure in this season's competition that has led to the 51-year-old losing his job as head coach.

The Italian has a win rate of just over 70% from his 270 matches at the helm but this was supposed to be the season where Juve won the Champions League. Indeed, Cristiano Ronaldo was signed from Real Madrid last summer with the view to delivering success in the European Cup.

Ronaldo has scored 28 times in all competitions this season - including six in the Champions League - but Juve lost to Ajax in the last-16 stage of Europe's premier competition, while they were eliminated from the Coppa Italia by eventual finalists Atalanta BC at the end of January.

It is difficult to say that winning the league title equals a poor season but that is how it is viewed due to the standards that are expected at the Juventus Stadium.

It is not yet clear who will replace Allegri as head coach although it would be fair to say that there will be huge pressure on the new manager next season. Big money is expected to be spent this summer, while Aaron Ramsey will be arriving at the club on a free transfer following the expiration of his Arsenal contract.

Juve secured this season's title with a win over Fiorentina on April 20 but have not won since - drawing against Inter Milan, Torino and Atalanta, in addition to losing at Roma. It is now four games without an away win in all competitions and the Italian giants will be desperate to return to winning ways this weekend.

For all of the negativity that has surrounded the club since their Champions League exit, Juve deserve huge credit for another excellent league campaign which has seen them win 28 of their 37 matches thus far, drawing six and suffering just three defeats.

Recent form: LWDDLD
Recent form (all competitions): LWDDLD

Team News

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates winning the Serie A with Juventus on May 19, 2019© Reuters

Sampdoria will be without the services of defenders Joachim Andersen and Nicola Murru for their final Serie A game of the season but head coach Giampaolo otherwise has a fully-fit squad.

Quagliarella looks almost certain to secure the Golden Boot this season and the experienced forward will again start in the final third with support from Gregoire Defrel.

Gianluca Caprari is pushing for a spot in the XI after starting on the bench against Genoa, while Dennis Praet will feature as the 25-year-old looks to add to the two goals that he has managed this season.

As for Juve, Joao Cancelo recently underwent nose surgery and the 24-year-old has been ruled out, joining Mattia Perin, Douglas Costa and Sami Khedira on the sidelines.

Blaise Matuidi and Federico Bernardeschi are both suspended, meanwhile, meaning that Allegri has far from a fully-fit squad heading into Sunday's contest.

Giorgio Chiellini also remains a huge doubt due to a calf problem, which could see Martin Caceres given the nod alongside Leonardo Bonucci in central defence.

There remains a lot of speculation surrounding the future of Paulo Dybala but the Argentine could keep his spot in attack alongside Ronaldo and Juan Cuadrado as Mario Mandzukic is not yet fully fit.

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Sala, Colley, Ferrari, Tavares; Linetty, Ekdal, Praet; Caprari; Defrel, Quagliarella

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Caceres, Sandro; Pjanic, Can, Bentancur; Cuadrado, Dybala, Ronaldo

Head To Head

Juve have won seven of the last eight league meetings between the two teams, including a 2-1 success in the reverse match at the Juventus Stadium earlier this season.

That said, Sampdoria ran out 3-2 winners when the pair last locked horns at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris.

La Samp also beat the Old Lady on home soil in May 2013 and March 2010, showing that this weekend's clash will be far from straightforward for the visitors.

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Sampdoria 1-2 Juventus

Juve have been far from their best since securing the title last month. That said, Sampdoria have struggled in recent months and we expect the visitors to help themselves to a win in Allegri's farewell game.

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Cristiano Ronaldo in action for Juventus on April 20, 2019
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Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of athletics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain in the final (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
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· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

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