Tight Affair Between Samp & Lazio
Sampdoria v Lazio
It’s crunch time in Serie A with only three games remaining Lazio in third travel to sixth-placed Sampdoria on Saturday with both well in the hunt for Europe next season.
A 4-1 hammering atUdinese gave Sampdoria a first win in seven games in and boosted their stuttering hopes of qualifying for the Europa League next season that will be assured with a fifth-placed finish. Sinisa Mihajilovic’s side are now just a point behind Fiorentina in the table although fifth and eighth spot are separated by only three points.
They’ve lost just once in the league at the Luigi Ferraris stadium, with only champions Juve losing fewer games at home although of the top 11 sides in Serie A only Inter and Torino have picked up less wins on their own soil, while only Torino have managed fewer goals overall than Samp.
Brazilian-born striker Eder’s nine league goals put him top of the club’s goalscoring charts although his last goal of any description came on his international debut for Italy in March.
With only one win in their last five Lazio appear to be falling over the finish line with the Champions League qualification place that looked theirs for the taking last month now hanging in the balance following last weekend’s 2-1 home defeat by Inter. That loss saw Napoli move to within three points of the Biancocelesti who won nine and drew the other in a ten-game unbeaten run which saw them overtake Roma in second spot briefly.
Only Fiorentina have scored more goals on their travels in Serie A this season however and Lazio’s 2-0 reversal against the champions in Turin is the only time in the last 15 games that Stefano Pioli’s side have failed to get on the scoresheet.
Veteran German striker Miroslav Klose is the Romans’ top scorer this season with 12 league goals, with highly-rated Brazilian winger Felipe Anderson a further two goals back.
Eder now looks likely to miss the rest of the season for Samp with a knee injury while Djamel Mesbah and Joaquin Correa are both rated as serious doubts for this tie. Long term absentee Alessandro De Vitis is stepping up his recovery though and could feature on the bench.
Defender Stefan de Vrij and midfield pair Lucas Biglia and bruno Pereirinha are all doubtful for Lazio while Pioli may also be without Ederson, Lorik Cana and Senad Lulic in a seriously depleted engine room for the visitors.
Head to Head
Lazio ran out comfortable 3-0 winners at the Stadio Olimpico when the teams met in January; their fifth win in six against Sampdoria, with last season’s clash at the Luigi Ferraris the only point Samp have earned against the Romans over that period of time, while their last win in this fixture came back in August 2010.
Both teams have scored only once in the last seven games between the two.
With neither side convincing of late it’s tough to pick a winner in this game and that usually points toward a draw even though it’s a result that’s likely to do neither any favours.
With each of Sampdoria’s last nine home games featuring less than 2.5 goals the evens offered on that being the case again here looks the pick of the bets with 13/10 on both teams to score ‘No’ another gamble worth taking in a game that’s likely to be high on tension but low on goals.
*Prices correct at time of publication