MX23RW : Thursday, May 26 03:09:14| >> :600:402046:402046:
[monks data]
Jan 23, 2022 at 2pm UK at Stadio Alberto Picco, La Spezia, Italy
1 - 0
Verde (69')
Erlic (30'), Verde (71')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Thorsby (37'), Ekdal (47'), Rincon (52')
Ekdal (73')

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

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

Sunday's Serie A action includes a huge relegation battle at the bottom of the table between Spezia and Sampdoria at the Stadio Alberto Picco.

The hosts come into this clash following excellent back-to-back victories, whilst the visitors have a new manager in charge for his first game since returning to the club this week.

Match preview

Spezia's Kevin Agudelo celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on January 17, 2022© Reuters

Spezia are a club on the up ahead of the weekend's Serie A fixtures, with Thiago Motta's side picking up successive victories on the road at Genoa and AC Milan in the last two weeks.

A return from the winter break saw them fall 2-1 at home to Hellas Verona, but Aquilotti have responded perfectly since then.

Emmanuel Gyasi was the hero at the San Siro last weekend, with the Ghanaian forward netting a dramatic winner in the sixth minute of stoppage time, after Kevin Agudelo had equalised earlier in the half.

Spezia rode their luck on numerous occasions but it was the kind of hard-fought display that deserved the three points in the end, and it was one that has lifted Sunday's hosts into 15th place.

Six points currently separate themselves from Cagliari in the relegation places, and a home tie against a fellow struggler at the weekend is an ideal opportunity to make it three wins in a row for a side that has suffered defeat just once in their past five matches.

However, with just nine of their 22 points arriving at the Stadio Alberto Picco so far this campaign, the task may seem more difficult than it first appears.

Sampdoria's Maya Yoshida celebrates scoring their first goal with teammates on September 12, 2021© Reuters

Meanwhile, Sampdoria head to Spezia with a new manager in charge, with Marco Giampaolo returning to the club following Roberto D'Aversa's sacking earlier this week.

D'Aversa had overseen three consecutive defeats in an overall five-game winless spell in Serie A, which has seen I Blucerchiati plummet to 16th in the table, one place and two points behind Sunday's opponents.

Last weekend's 2-1 defeat at home to mid-table Torino proved to be the final straw for the club's hierarchy, with Sampdoria well beaten despite Francesco Caputo's opening goal in the early stages.

Felice Tufano took temporary charge of the side in midweek, but he could do little to stop the rot as Sampdoria were hammered 4-1 at Juventus in the Coppa Italia.

Giampaolo now returns to the struggling outfit for a second spell, following a three-year stint between 2016 and 2019, which the Italian finalised with a departure for AC Milan.

The 54-year-old has been unsuccessful since then however, but the Sampdoria faithful will be hopeful that he can bring back the good times and steer their side away from danger at the wrong end of the table, potentially beginning with a successful start on Sunday.

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

Spezia form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

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

Sampdoria form (all competitions):
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Spezia coach Thiago Motta reacts on January 17, 2022© Reuters

Motta will have hoped to have named an unchanged lineup from the one that won at the San Siro last weekend, but captain Giulio Maggiore's fifth yellow card of the season in that game means he will miss out on Sunday through a one-match suspension.

Arkadiusz Reca also picked up an injury in the victory, and the versatile man will be out until next month with a shoulder injury, whilst Ebrima Colley is still on international duty at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Viktor Kovalenko could deputise for Maggiore in the centre of the pitch and Salvador Ferrer could fill in at left-back, whilst Agudelo's impact from the bench may have earned him a start ahead of Rey Manaj.

As for the visitors, Wladimiro Falcone could retain his place in goal despite the return to fitness of first-choice goalkeeper Emil Audero.

The backup keeper has performed admirably in Audero's absence, so Giampaolo could opt to require his services again on Sunday.

Maya Yoshida, Albin Ekdal, Valerio Verre, Mikkel Damsgaard and the veteran Fabio Quagliarella are all sidelined due to injuries, whilst Omar Colley is unavailable due to international duty at AFCON.

Spezia possible starting lineup:
Provedel; Amian, Erlic, Nikolaou, Ferrer; Kovalenko, Kiwior, Bastoni; Agudelo, Gyasi, Verde

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Falcone; Bereszynski, Ferrari, Dragusin, Augello; Candreva, Rincon, Thorsby; Gabbiadini; Torregrossa, Caputo

SM words green background

We say: Spezia 1-1 Sampdoria

Giampaolo is likely to come in and bring some organisation to his Sampdoria side, so with this being his first match back in charge, and with it being away from home, he will be determined not to lose it and could set up to be defensively stubborn.

As a result, and with these sides being evenly matched overall despite their differing form lately, we are predicting this to be a nervy affair that finishes in a draw.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 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.Under 3.5:data

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Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri reacts on January 6, 2022
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