Sampdoria host top-of-the-table Juventus in the final week of Serie A action before the winter break. The champions know a victory against the Ligurian outfit will ensure they go in to the New Year leading the way ahead of title rivals Inter. Meanwhile, the hosts have gradually improved since Claudio Ranieri was appointed to steady the ship.
Where and when: Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa – 18 December, kick-off 17:55
Where you can see Sampdoria vs. Juventus: Premier Sports 2
Last time: Doria stunned the Bianconeri on the final day of the previous term courtesy of efforts from Grégoire Defrel and Gianluca Caprari.
|Our Eurotips||Odds||Free bets||Bookie|
|Manolo Gabbiadini to score last||17/2||Offer|
|Over 3.5 goals||11/5||Offer|
|Juventus to win 2-0||7/1||Offer|
Sampdoria v Juventus Predictions and Preview
Confidence is high in Ranieri’s camp after claiming derby bragging rights against bitter foes Genoa. Gabbiadini was the match winner late on, and the triumph pulled the Blucerchiati out of the bottom three in the process.
It has been a testing season for all involved, with Fabio Quagliarella understandably struggling to hit the heights of last year. The 36-year-old has three goals to his name, but remains a vital figure in the side, irrespective of his low tally.
Elsewhere, visitors Juventus ran out 3-1 victors against Udinese in their last match. Maurizio Sarri had previously been resistant to playing Cristiano Ronaldo, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala together from the start, but the trident worked well with each attacker starring in their preferred positions.
Aaron Ramsey was an unused substitute in the clash with the Zebrette but could come in at the expense of Adrien Rabiot. The Frenchman has toiled since moving on a free transfer from PSG and has failed to cement a regular first-team place.
One to watch for Sampdoria: Gaston Ramirez is 20/1 to hit the final effort of the contest and will line-up just behind Quagliarella. The Uruguayan was wanted by Ranieri while the Italian was at Leicester.
One to watch for Juventus: Douglas Costa is fit and raring to go after recovering from a spell on the sidelines. The Brazilian speedster is a winger by trade but can also play in the hole off the frontline. Costa is 13/2 in the same market.
Long shot: Sarri belatedly included all three of his star forwards in the duel with Udinese and the fixture with Sampdoria may be another perfect opportunity to fine tune their understanding as a trio. A 3-0 success is 9/1.