Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa.
Deflated And Defunct
At one stage of the season Sampdoria did genuinely look like they would break into the top four; now their poor form has made them strugglers for a Europa League slot.
Sampdoria had won just two of their previous eight Serie A games before they traveled to Milan last weekend in search of a win. But they returned with nothing as the Rossoneri demolished them even before poor Samp had realised what had hit them, scoring three quick-fire goals that has led to questions being asked of the Genoa side's defence.
Samp's downturn in fortunes has coincided with the spiralling down of form of Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini and coach Luigi Del Neri has got to find a way to bring the duo back into form. Other players too have misfired, forcing the Blucerchiati to slip down to eighth in the table, although they are just a solitary point off fourth-placed Parma.
Claudio Ranieri might never be able to win over the Roma faithful with his football and tactics but he is certainly gaining some sort of affection with the results. Roma have already secured their place among the final 32 teams in this season's Europa League campaign and a run of good form has elevated them to sixth in the table, just one point behind Parma, who are fourth.
The Giallorossi defeated Lazio 1-0 in the Rome derby last weekend and their confidence is certainly very high. They might not exactly be playing the prettiest of football in Italy but they are certainly getting better and playing with a defined purpose and intention.
Roma's away form, though, hasn't been very impressive but with Samp struggling this could be a good time to garner their third league victory on the roads.
December 5 v Milan (A) - LOST 3-0 (Serie A)
December 1 v Livorno (H) - LOST 2-1 (Coppa Italia)
November 28 v Genoa (A) LOST 3 - 0 (Serie A)
November 22 v Chievo (H) WON 2 - 1 (Serie A)
November 8 v Cagliari (A) LOST 2 - 0 (Serie A)
December 6 v Lazio (H) - WON 1-0 (Serie A)
December 3 v Basel (H) - WON 2-1 (Europa League)
November 29 v Atalanta (A) - WON 2-1 (Serie A)
November 21 v Bari (H) - WON 3-1 (Serie A)
November 8 v Inter (A) - DREW 1-1 (Serie A)
There are some injury problems related to Antonio Cassano, Andrea Poli, Stefano Lucchini and Marius Stankevicius but they are not being considered as major. Samp are likely to line up in a 4-4-2 formation to allow more defensive solidity.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Castellazzi, Stankevicius, Gastaldello, Rossi, Ziegler; Semioli, Palombo, Poli, Mannini; Pazzini, Cassano
Max Tonetto and Philippe Mexes miss out because of injuries while David Pizarro and Jeremy Menez are suspended.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Julio Sergio, Cassetti, Burdisso, Juan, Riise; Taddei, De Rossi, Brighi, Perrotta; Totti, Vucinic
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Giampaolo Pazzini (Sampdoria)
The Italian striker is the third top scorer in Serie A at the moment with eight goals. Pazzini has looked off colour of late but he remains one of the most intelligent strikers in Italy and Roma would have to pay special attention to him and see that he doesn't get too much space or time on the ball in and around the penalty box.
Francesco Totti (Roma)
Francesco Totti made his return from injury with a superb hat-trick against Bari and has been in impressive form ever since. He is the joint second top scorer in Serie A at the moment and he would be looking to add to his tally against Sampdoria on Sunday night.
This should be a very exciting game of football and a perfect one to round up the Serie A weekend. Both sides are quite attack-minded and this could see quite a number of goals. Sampdoria have to start picking up points from now on if they don't want to slip further down the ladder but Roma wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than a draw.
Sampdoria 2-2 Roma
Subhankar Mondal, Goal.com