MX23RW : Thursday, July 29 02:24:14| >> :600:1428102:1428102:
Dec 19, 2020 at 5pm UK at Stadio Luigi Ferraris
Damsgaard (26'), Jankto (36'), Quagliarella (65')
Colley (30'), Ekdal (49')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Simy (45+1' pen.)
Messias (45+2'), Marrone (60')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Sampdoria and Crotone, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Sampdoria meet Serie A's bottom side Crotone at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday with both sides having secured positive results in the last week following a terrible run of form.

Claudio Ranieri's Samp side upset in-form Verona at the Bentegodi on Wednesday, while Crotone finally brushed their fruitless toils aside to claim four points from their last two fixtures - trebling their season's total in a matter of days.

Match preview

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku in action with Sampdoria's Omar Colley in September 2019© Reuters

Ahead of their midweek win in Verona, Sampdoria had been starved of success since October, with the Blucerchiati's most recent defeats in a woeful run coming against leaders AC Milan and high-flying Napoli.

Four defeats out of five league games - in addition to a bitter elimination from the Coppa Italia to city rivals Genoa - saw Claudio Ranieri's team slip down the standings.

They had also conceded at least two goals in each game since a 1-1 league draw in the previous Derby della Lanterna. Therefore, managing to overturn Verona by virtue of two counter-attacking goals will have provided sweet relief for Samp's veteran manager.

Goals for dependable linkman Albin Ekdal and forward Valerio Verre - on loan at Verona last season - brought about a victory for the visitors which was their fourth league triumph of the season, lifting the Blucerchiati up to 11th in the table.

Having stopped the rot, the opportunity to claim back-to-back wins now presents itself against an obviously improving but still vulnerable Crotone side.

They may have to do so without experienced on-loan winger Antonio Candreva, who has been a rare source of goals and assists so far this term, due to a very public fall-out with Ranieri - much to the detriment of both men.

Crotone manager Giovanni Stroppa pictured in October 2020© Reuters

In midweek, a rejuvenated Crotone were clearly buoyed by their first win of the season - a surprise 4-1 victory over fellow promoted side Spezia - but ultimately seemed content with a point at the Dacia Arena, having had just four attempts on Udinese's goal in a 0-0 draw.

Ahead of last week's fixtures, I Pitagorici lost eight of their opening 10 league games of the season to sit bottom of the table with just two points, but they will enter Saturday's encounter in Genoa with renewed confidence.

Previously-misfiring forward Junior Messias scored twice in that impressive win for Giovanni Stroppa's side against former Serie B foes Spezia. The Brazilian's input was much needed in order to finally take the burden off the shoulders of star striker Simy, who has also dried up in front of goal recently.

The Calabrian club's 37-year-old goalkeeper, Alex Cordaz - whose career started at Inter Milan's academy and has taken in detours as diverse as Slovenian side Gorica, Switzerland's Lugano and the Parma bench - was to the fore in keeping a rare clean sheet in Udine just days before, receiving man-of-the-match honours.

It is only in his mid-30s that Crotone captain Cordaz has fully established himself as a Serie A number one in his own right.

His accumulated experience and powers of persistence are likely to be called upon continuously throughout the season and at Marassi this Saturday, the once-undervalued gloveman will lead his team into battle with fresh hope.

Sampdoria Serie A form: LLDLLW
Sampdoria form (all competitions): LLDLLW

Crotone Serie A form: LLLLWD

Team News

Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Sampdoria pair Bartosz Bereszynski and Keita Balde have returned to training following muscle injuries, but Saturday's clash could come too soon for both.

Winger Antonio Candreva has trained alone after being dropped as a response to his attitude in training, with coach Claudio Ranieri apparently demanding an apology before he could rejoin the squad - after the club president's subsequent intervention, peace could potentially be restored before kickoff.

Striker Manolo Gabbiadini will undergo surgery on a groin injury, so Antonio La Gumina should continue in attack if veteran Fabio Quagliarella is not selected.

Crotone's influential midfield pair Luca Cigarini and Ahmed Benali were out of action in midweek and are unlikely to be risked, so forward Junior Messias may continue in a deeper role to cover Benali's absence.

Argentinian defender Lisandro Magallan, on loan from Ajax, returns from suspension and should be included in Giovanni Stroppa's back three of a familiar 3-5-2 setup, in which Emmanuel Riviere could again join Simy up front.

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Ferrari, Colley, Tonelli, Augello; Jankto, Thorsby, Ekdal, Damsgaard; Verre; La Gumina

Crotone possible starting lineup:
Cordaz; Magallan, Marrone, Golemic; Pereira, Molina, Zanellato, Messias, Reca; Simy, Riviere

SM words green background

We say: Sampdoria 1-0 Crotone

With things looking a little brighter for both sides following significant struggles, the two teams could be emboldened to seize this opportunity for another three points.

Though neither are prolific, hosts Sampdoria have the greater options in midfield and on the bench - enough to ensure a narrow win over improving Crotone.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting over 1.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 1.5:data

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