Sampdoria v Roma – Stadio Luigi Ferraris at 19:30 GMT +1 live at Premier Sports
Roma’s decision to sack Eugenio Di Francesco following a derby defeat to Lazio and Champions League exit at the hands of Porto appeared rash at the time, and the Giallorossi’s appointment of Claudio Ranieri as interim boss until the end of the season certainly looked like a downgrade in the dugout.
Victory over Empoli in his opening contest against Empoli lifted some of the gloom around the Italian capital but the Wolves have since slumped to an embarrassing defeat at Spal and heavy loss at home to Napoli, dropping to seventh in Serie A ahead of their midweek showdown with Fiorentina.
Ranieri has assured supporters that he is doing everything to get the Giallorossi playing ‘like a team’ again, with the previous Premier League champion claiming to be working “25 hours a day” in search of much-needed answers. The Wolves are suffering a crisis of confidence and Champions League qualification hopes are fading fast.
Lorenzo Pellegrini and Javier Pastore are available again and Kostas Manolas returns from suspension to bolster the Roma ranks, although off-field speculation continues to make headlines. Club legend Francesco Totti is being linked with the available technical director role and reportedly wants Daniele De Rossi to be his head coach, perhaps undermining Ranieri’s involvement.
Goals on the agenda
And so there’s plenty of reasons to steer clear of the Giallorossi on Saturday when they make the tricky trip to Sampdoria. The hosts have been in fine form over the past five weeks and moved to within touching distance of their visitors; the Blucerchiati will fancy their chances at the Marassi having beaten Milan here just seven days earlier.
Marco Giampaolo’s men are renowned for their forward-thinking and enterprising approach, particularly on home soil and that’s been reflecting in the numbers. Since the start of last season, Samp have W28-D11-L13 at the Marassi, scoring at least twice in half of those 52 fixtures.
Roma have also been pretty prolific in the goals markets, particularly in 2018/19. The visitors have delivered Over 2.5 Goals profit in 14 of their previous 18 Serie A showdowns ahead of the midweek card and it’s surprising to see a repeat available at generous odds of 1.77 here.
The pair have fired blanks in only 11 of their combined 58 league matches this term, and with precious points on offer to secure European qualification, an open and exciting encounter could be on the cards in Genoa.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 2.50 goals at 1.770
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