Match Preview – Roma vs Sampdoria
Roma talisman Francesco Totti has been inspirational thus far
Roma take their unbeaten record to the Luigi Ferraris Stadium Wednesday when they take on Sampdoria. Rudi Garcia’s men sit top of the table after an impressive derby victory over cross-town rivals Lazio, having only conceded one goal in their first four fixtures. Roma look like a completely different squad under Garcia, and are thriving under the former Lille man’s tutelage, despite the loss of key players such as Dani Osvaldo, Marquinhos and Erik Lamela.
The enigmatic play of Francesco Totti has Roma rolling on all cylinders, while Roma’s defensive woes under previous manager Zdenek Zeman seem to be a distant memory with Garcia’s boys displaying a knack for defending well as a unit. The three man midfield of De Rossi, Pjanic and summer signing Kevin Strootman have brought the impressive combination of both skill and steel to this Roma squad, while the addition of Mehdi Benatia from Udinese and the rejuvenation of Douglas Maicon and Federico Balzaretti under Garcia, have turned Roma into a defensive stalwart thus far. The play of young Italian international Alessandro Florenzi has been exceptional as of late, who is looking to earn a place in Prandelli’s squad for this summer’s World Cup. Gervinho still looks to be finding his feet in Serie A, with the former Arsenal man expected to keep his place in the lineup over fellow summer signing Adem Ljajic.
Sampdoria are coming off a dramatic 2-2 draw with Cagliari this past weekend, where two howlers from Cagliari keeper Michele Agazzi assured a point for Delio Rossi’s squad. Late goals from Italian internationals Gabbiadini & De Silvestri give Sampdoria two points from their first four games. Sampdoria still seem to be relegation candidates for this season, and will be relying on the play of midfield stalwart Pedro Obiang and on-loan Juventus striker Manolo Gabbiadini to steer them clear of the bottom three. Veterans Daniele Gastaldello and Angelo Palombo should keep their place in defense alongside Andrea Costa. While the midfield of Obiang, De Silvestri, Krsticic, Bjarnason and one of either Regini or Wszolek will look to support the Samp attack. Nicola Pozzi, Gianluca Sansone or Andrea Petagna could replace Davide Gavazzi in the lineup, but other than that Sampdoria should name an unchanged lineup, with Eder still unavailable.
Probable Lineup: Roma (4-3-3): De Sanctis, Maicon, Castan, Benatia, Balzaretti, Strooman, De Rossi, Pjanic, Gervinho, Totti, Florenzi.
Probable Lineup: Sampdoria (3-5-2): Da Costa, Gastaldello, Palombo, Costa, De Silvestri, Obiang, Krsticic, Bjarnason, Wszolek, Sansone, Gabbiadini.