MX23RW : Tuesday, May 11 19:40:03| >> :120:8709:8709:
Apr 17, 2021 at 2pm UK at Stadio Luigi Ferraris
Hellas VeronaHellas Verona
Jankto (46'), Gabbiadini (73' pen.), Thorsby (82')
Verre (13'), Balde (83'), Yoshida (85')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Lazovic (13')
Faraoni (61'), Tameze (73'), Dawidowicz (81')

Preview: Sampdoria vs. Hellas Verona - prediction, team news, lineups

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

Mid-table counterparts Sampdoria and Hellas Verona meet at Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday, separated by one place and five points in the Serie A standings.

While the Blucerchiati could close the gap to their visitors with a win, ninth-placed Verona are seeking to secure successive top-half finishes since returning to the elite level.

Match preview

Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri pictured in September 2020© Reuters

Still clinging on to a place in the top half following their defeat to Napoli last week, Sampdoria currently occupy tenth place in the table despite picking up only six points from the same number of games.

In fact, Samp have now lost seven of their last 10 league games against sides in the top 10 - though they did defeat Verona in the reverse fixture back in December - and subsequently find themselves trapped in the vast no-man's land between European contenders and relegation battlers.

Claudio Ranieri's inconsistent outfit have, though, won seven of their last 10 against Verona in Serie A - while losing just once - including their two most recent meetings since Ranieri has been in charge.

With the veteran coach's future being a regular point of discussion in the Italian media, he has insisted that all focus remains on securing the team's stated target of 52 points.

Several past Samp sides have switched off once safety has been secured, so Ranieri will be keen for those such as exciting wingers Antonio Candreva - who has been involved in six goals in 2021 (four goals, two assists) - and Denmark's Mikkel Damsgaard, one of the youngest men to have played more than 20 Serie A games this term, to remain fully engaged until the end of next month.

Hellas Verona coach Ivan Juric pictured on January 24, 2021© Reuters

While 20-year-old Damsgaard has drawn admiration from observers at home and abroad this season, earlier this week, the CIES Football Observatory named Verona as the Italian team with most minutes played by under-21s in the current campaign.

In this regard, Ivan Juric's side lead the way in Serie A, as the likes of his compatriot Ivan Ilic - who has played 22 games on loan from Manchester City - and much-admired defender Matteo Lovato have featured regularly.

The young pair were unusually absent from the teamsheet last time out, as Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic rose to nod in a late winner at the Bentegodi, in Verona's 1-0 loss to the capital club.

That goal has been the only one they have conceded in their last three games and the Scaligeri's defensive data (35 goals against from 30 matches) is currently on par with second-placed Milan. However, they were unable to muster a single shot on target against Lazio; highlighting their ongoing problems in the final third.

Kevin Lasagna was far from prolific for former club Udinese before joining the Gialloblu in January, as cover for injury-stricken summer signing Nikola Kalinic, and has also failed to fire since moving to Veneto.

That will be of concern for Juric ahead of their trip to Marassi, as Verona are certainly up against strong precedent in the city of Genoa. Having won just one of their 24 previous away fixtures versus Sampdoria - back in December 1972 - the visitors have not emerged with maximum points from any of their 12 games played at Stadio Luigi Ferraris against either Samp or Genoa in the three-points-per-win era.

Aside from keeping pace with Sassuolo in the token battle for eighth place, their main incentive to break that run could be equalling their best tally of away wins in a single Serie A season (six) - previously achieved only in 1984-85, when they defied all odds to lift the Scudetto, and 2013-14.

Sampdoria Serie A form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • L

Hellas Verona Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L

Team News

Sampdoria's Fabio Quagliarella in action in September 2019© Reuters

Sampdoria have few injury concerns ahead of Verona's visit, as only striker Ernesto Torregrossa is certainly unavailable on Saturday. There remain significant doubts over evergreen forward Fabio Quagliarella's fitness though, as his participation pends on responding to treatment for a muscular issue.

Therefore, the recently returned Manolo Gabbiadini - who signed a renewed deal with the club last month - should continue up front, with Keita Balde as his partner if Claudio Ranieri decides against risking Quagliarella.

Adrien Silva returns from the suspension handed down following his red card against Milan, with fellow midfielder Albin Ekdal also set to be back in contention for a start after recovering from injury.

Verona's young centre-back Matteo Lovato is another set to return after serving a ban, with Giangiacomo Magnani most likely to make way for the 21-year-old rising star in Ivan Juric's customary back three.

Ronaldo Vieira, Andrea Favilli and Mert Cetin remain unavailable for the visitors though, while Nikola Kalinic continues his comeback from a thigh strain and should start on the visitors' bench.

In midfield, Stefano Sturaro - on loan from the hosts' fierce city rivals Genoa - must see off competition from Adrien Tameze and Ivan Ilic to keep his place alongside skipper Miguel Veloso.

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Tonelli, Colley, Augello; Candreva, Thorsby, Silva, Jankto; Gabbiadini, Quagliarella

Hellas Verona possible starting lineup:
Silvestri; Lovato, Ceccherini, Dimarco; Faraoni, Ilic, Veloso, Lazovic; Barak, Zaccagni; Lasagna

SM words green background

We say: Sampdoria 1-0 Hellas Verona

Hit-and-miss Sampdoria may strike lucky against a wavering Verona side, as they possess a stronger set of attacking options and have the weight of history on their side: Hellas have not won in Genoa for more than 25 years.

With little left to play for except pride and minor placings, Claudio Ranieri's men can edge past one of the toughest defences in Calcio to pick up only their second win in nine.

Top tip

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