Match Preview Serie A

Sampdoria vs Juventus Match Preview and Scouting

January 9, 2016 - 2:49 pm


 Sampdoria v Juventus

Serie A Week 19 –  Sunday, 10th January – 19:45 GMT – Stadio Luigi Ferraris



Juventus hope to keep the eight-game winning streak alive as they face Sampdoria on Sunday night. Against Hellas Verona, it was yet another dominating performance from bianconeri: at this point, they are pretty much automatic against weak opponents. The squad took some time to jell, but they have an impressive array of weapons at disposal and it shows; furthermore, they are playing with confidence. They responded well after the break, which was not a sure thing, and to the unnecessarily risky game against Carpi.

The biggest challenge for this game is replacing Claudio Marchisio who is suspended. There are three options and two involve using Sami Khedira as deep-lying playmaker. I think that the German international has not been himself since the last injury, he has yet to re-gain the right rhythm and the football shape. He has played only few minutes in this role this season, but I have no doubt he has the experience to hold down the fort. Stefano Sturaro or Kwadwo Asamoah would overtake the box-to-box role. The other solution is Hernanes as pivot: it is not his natural position and the experiment has had atrocious results in the past, especially in the Napoli game, but sometimes coaches like to move one pawn rather than two. Anyway, I think the Sturaro-Khedira-Pogba midfield is the most likely, but we have to remember that Allegri has fielded Asamoah every time he was available.

It looks like Andrea Barzagli will be sidelined for a while to nurse his calf injury. Massimiliamo Allegri chose Martin Caceres to replace him on Wednesday, relegating Daniele Rugani to the bench once again. The explanations looked weak to me, so either Caceres is on display for potential buyers, or the underlying fact is that the coach probably does not trust the youngster yet. That is strange, since Rugani is not a rookie and has already a full season as a starter at Empoli under his belt, where he also played quite well. The duel repeats itself for this one and Rugani’s agent is starting to ask questions too, we will see how this will play out.

Mario Mandzukic has a chance to be available, but he is very unlikely to start. Alvaro Morata is in a scoring slump, but he is playing hard and he is playing with his teammates, he is not trying to shoot his way out of this funk in a stubborn and selfish way. Even if he is not finding the bottom of the net, he is not hurting the team. Anyway, I wonder if Simone Zaza has earned himself the starting job against the team Juventus first bought him from thanks to his stellar goal per minute ratio.

It will be interesting to see whether Allegri will continue to rotate the wing backs as Stephen Lichsteiner and Alex Sandro are playing very well. Mario Lemina and Roberto Pereyra should be unavailable once again.

Probable lineup:

3-5-2: Buffon; Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichsteiner, Sturaro, Khedira, Pogba, Sandro; Morata, Dybala.


Barzagli (calf), Pereyra (hamstring), Lemina (knee). 






Vincenzo Montella had a horrendous start of his Sampdoria stint, but they have started to get results, seven points in the last three games, and he is putting his imprint on the team. He has always been a coach that preferred quality over quantity and this often led him to field a number of midfielders at the same time. It has been no different in his blucerchiato time.

After tinkering for a while also because of some injuries, the coach has chosen a very fluid 4-3-2-1 with Antonio Cassano as false-nine. Eder, a natural yet undersized first striker, serves as CAM/left winger, always ready to cut to the inside and challenge the offside trap, and Carlos Carbonero, or really any other of their offensive players, occupies the final position in the untraditional trident, wandering around the pitch trying to pick the right spot and play off the other two forwards.

Luis Muriel has been ok since joining Sampdoria, his potential is well-known, but he is injury prone and sometimes he does not have the right attitude. Montella has been reluctant to start him, there might be something cooking in the transfer market, but I think that the Eder-Cassano-Muriel attack could be the ultimate weapon to get Sampdoria over the hump.

They do not struck me as a very physical team, even though they have Fernando and Edgar Barreto in the midfield, and they are not one of those low-table sides that only sits back and counter. They have several technical players like Roberto Soriano, who is enjoying his best season yet, Cassano, who comes off his lone good match since his return but is a game-changer in the rare occasions he is in the mood, Eder, Muriel, Fernando, Joaquin Correa, Ricky Alvarez and so on.

Of course, the downside is that they have not a particularly great defence. They have conceded 28 goals so far and also in the Derby della Lanterna, where after a dominant first half they almost allowed Genoa to come back and tie the game, you could see that there are some lingering issues from the lengthy crisis that hit them in October and November. There are some structural problems in their defence phase and the talent is not that impressive too, that is why they are looking for one more centre-back.

As for the defensive line, they have tried several different combinations, the starters in this one should be Mattia Cassani, Niklas Moisander, Ervin Zukanovic and Vasco Regini. Lorenzo De Silvestri is definitely out with an hamstring strain and Matias Silvestre, even though he has a chance to be available, has not returned yet from a muscular ailment suffered in December.

The only other real doubt involves Carbonero, who has skipped a practice this week and could be replaced by either Correa or Alvarez. It remains to be seen whether Cassano is ready to play two games in four days, anyway the drop-off would not be consistent, as Muriel would take his spot in the starting XI. We should keep an eye on Soriano, who could be a surprise exclusion because some teams, Napoli and Valencia, are reportedly pushing hard to get him: he would be spared if the negotiations really heated up in the next two days. David Ivan would take his place.

Probable lineup:

4-3-2-1: Viviano; Cassani, Moisander, Zukanovic, Regini; Barreto, Fernando, Soriano; Carbonero, Eder, Cassano.


De Silvestri (hamstring).







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  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino January 9, 2016 at 4:43 pm

    I expect a rather tough game against Sampdoria, their players are all pumped up after their win over Genoa.

    Forza Juve and lets make it 9 on the bounce tomorrow!

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    LMJuveDK January 9, 2016 at 5:13 pm

    Rugani should play this game. Playing Caceres for display or whatever reason it might be is just stupid. We need to show our youngsters that we trust them and see them as the future. And more importantly Rugani is simply a better CB than Caceres.

  • Avatar
    Jack Handey January 10, 2016 at 2:46 am

    The loss of Marchisio will be felt in this game. If Lemina were healthy, he would have been a more natural replacement. Khedira should play the Marchisio’s role. Hernanes is just a disaster. Anyway, Allegri has been making good decisions so far and we’ve every reason to believe he will do the same again.

  • Avatar
    ho Hi January 10, 2016 at 6:30 am

    2:1 it will be difficult for us. But Dybala will make this

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    Moderator January 10, 2016 at 7:13 am

    not feeling as confident as usual about what could be a very tricky tie – we have the recent form but Marchisio is HUGE miss in a game like this. Not sure who is going to fill that role best – Hernanes ? Khedira?
    Sampdoria looked a different team in the last 2 matches – solid victory over Palermo and against Genoa in the derby. Montella has them singing from the same hymnsheet at last.
    Huge performance required in the first of 4 really tough matches in a row. Almost wish Zaza would start from the off with morata on later.
    Mandzukic out injured with Barzagli is another blow…..but I faith.

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino January 10, 2016 at 9:43 am

    Fiorentina lost, with a win tonight we grab 3rd place.. Lets go for it Forza Juveeee

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    BelgianJuventino January 10, 2016 at 10:01 am

    I hope for the revitalised 3-5-2 tonight.
    Rugani instead of Caceres, Asamoah in for Marchisio, Khedira as the central man with Asamoah and pogba, morata in for mandzukic.
    Personally i would like lichtsteiner and Sandro to start, but i wouldnt mind any of the others playing too. As long as it isnt both of Sandro and Cuadrado, it would maybe leave defense too wide open

    • Avatar
      ho Hi January 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      My friend you know who will play instead of Marchisioking. Its Hernanes. Suffice to say.
      Would love to see Asamoah.

      Today i saw some stuff of Asamoah. Would love to see him that strong…again.

      • Avatar
        BelgianJuventino January 10, 2016 at 11:32 pm

        Got most of what I hoped for, I’m happy :p i hoped for Asamoah but yes Hernanes was to be expected

  • Avatar
    BelgianJuventino January 10, 2016 at 1:27 pm

    BERARDIIIIII with the winner against Inter!!
    we can draw level with them tonight!

  • Avatar
    Moderator January 10, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Inter 0 – 1 Sassuolo
    Roma 1- 1 Milan
    Fiorentina 1 – 3 Lazio

    …….We simply cannot afford to slip up today – Doesn;t matter who plays, 150% effort required and WE DON;T STOP PLAYING UNTIL THE RESULT IS GUARANTEED.

    2nd place could be ours by tonight……2nd……from fucking 17th !!!!!!! People wrote us off months ago, time to pay them all back in kind.

    • Avatar
      Peter January 10, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      …until the ref says it’s over. The result could be (and should be in my opinion) guaranteed after the first half. 😛

  • Avatar
    Peter January 10, 2016 at 8:07 pm


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    JuventusBuffon January 10, 2016 at 8:08 pm

    Dab it up son!

  • Avatar
    Peter January 10, 2016 at 9:13 pm

    Damn that miss, and damn Cassano too..

  • Avatar
    ho Hi January 10, 2016 at 9:36 pm

    Pado pado

  • Avatar
    LMJuveDK January 10, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    I haven’t seen the match. How is Hernanes playing?

    • Avatar
      KPS235 January 11, 2016 at 6:40 am

      First half invisible but the 2nd was better, overall 5/10

  • Avatar
    ho Hi January 10, 2016 at 9:38 pm


  • Avatar
    ho Hi January 10, 2016 at 9:39 pm

    4 fucking minutes

  • Avatar
    B1anconer0 January 10, 2016 at 9:52 pm

    Nervous at the end! Zaza should start the next game instead of morata.

    • Avatar
      KPS235 January 11, 2016 at 6:41 am

      How could he miss the header,

      • Avatar
        LMJuveDK January 11, 2016 at 11:38 am

        maybe he does not want to be bought by a club that changes coach every 6 months 🙂