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Dec 5, 2021 at 5pm UK
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Candreva (14'), Bereszynski (39'), Quagliarella (39'), Silva (80')
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Preview: Sampdoria vs. Lazio - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sampdoria vs. Lazio - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Sampdoria and Lazio, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Following a chaotic end to their midweek match, Lazio have slipped to ninth in the Serie A standings, so will look to get back on track with a win at Sampdoria on Sunday.

With just one point from their past three games, the Biancocelesti visit Stadio Luigi Ferraris in danger of falling off the pace in the top-four race, while Samp are still glancing over their shoulders at the drop zone.

Match preview

While the erratic nature of their start to life under Maurizio Sarri has surprised few observers of their coach's recent career, Lazio have seen their failings particularly exposed on several occasions during the past week.

Conceding a total of eight goals from two outings, the Aquile were first thumped 4-0 by a dominant Napoli side last weekend, before imploding at home to mid-table Udinese on Thursday.

The pressure was on to perform following successive league losses, but Lazio found themselves 3-1 down at the interval before rallying to edge in front through Francesco Acerbi's 79th-minute strike. However, in the 99th minute of a frenetic encounter at Stadio Olimpico, Sarri's side let in their 29th goal from 15 Serie A games to effectively surrender two points.

Though the concept of 'Sarriball' takes time to embed, patience will soon wear thin in the capital, so Lazio's head coach will be desperate for a return to form on Sunday. However, the Biancocelesti have not won in six domestic away games ahead of the trip to Liguria, having last suffered a longer such streak in early 2014.

After several high-profile clashes with major rivals and some important Europa League fixtures, a welcome respite may have started on the wrong foot against Udinese, but another four encounters with teams from the bottom half of the table in the coming weeks still provides Lazio with the chance to make up lost ground on the top six.

Despite their capital counterparts' faltering form of late, Sampdoria welcome Lazio to Marassi having only won two of their last 19 Serie A matches against them - a streak including a 1-0 loss when the clubs last met in February.

Ex-Biancocelesti star Antonio Candreva played more games (151) and scored more goals (41) in the top flight for Lazio than he has for any other club, and the veteran winger set Samp out on the right road with a cross which picked out Manolo Gabbiadini for an early opener against Fiorentina in midweek.

That was as good as it got for the away side at Stadio Artemio Franchi, though, as the Viola flooded back into the game with three goals without reply before the half-time break. Therefore, the Blucerchiati missed out on a third straight Serie A win, following a previous uplift in fortunes.

Sitting in 15th spot thanks to their recent rebound from three consecutive defeats - having beaten Salernitana and then Verona - Samp are currently clear of the bottom three, but cannot be complacent given a difficult start to the reign of coach Roberto D'Aversa.

Less than a week away from the season's first Derby della Lanterna with Genoa, then, Sampdoria will be eager to bounce back once again and start looking towards the top half rather than the clubs amassed below them.

Sampdoria Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Lazio Serie A form:
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • D

Lazio form (all competitions):
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D

Team News

The luxury of an almost fully fit Sampdoria squad will be available to Roberto D'Aversa on Sunday afternoon, with only back-up striker Ernesto Torregrossa - recently returned to individual training - and Danish starlet Mikkel Damsgaard (hamstring) unavailable to the former Parma boss through injury.

Fabio Depaoli, Ronaldo Vieira and Tommaso Augello are all back in contention, but centre-back Omar Colley must serve a suspension and will most likely be replaced by either Julian Chabot or Maya Yoshida at the heart of the hosts' defence.

Up front, veteran pair Francesco Caputo and Fabio Quagliarella are vying for a spot alongside Manolo Gabbiadini in a two-man attack, at the apex of the 4-4-2 formation generally favoured by D'Aversa.

Lazio, meanwhile, will have Luiz Felipe back from suspension this weekend, but his defensive colleague Patric was sent off against Udinese and must therefore sit out the trip to Marassi.

Adam Marusic returned from COVID-19 infection to occupy a place on the bench in midweek and could be involved again, while both Toma Basic and Lucas Leiva are pushing for places in the visitors' three-man midfield.

As ever, Ciro Immobile will lead the line up front, having previously scored more goals against Sampdoria (12) than any other Serie A opponent.

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Ferrari, Yoshida, Augello; Candreva, Thorsby, Silva, Verre; Gabbiadini, Quagliarella

Lazio possible starting lineup:
Reina; Lazzari, Felipe, Acerbi, Hysaj; Milinkovic-Savic, Cataldi, Alberto; Anderson, Immobile, Pedro

We say: Sampdoria 2-3 Lazio

Recent events have confirmed that both sides are a work in progress under managers appointed during the summer, so an open affair should be decided by the odd goal in Lazio's favour - due to their more diverse attacking talent.

Sampdoria may be set for a testing second half of the season if they cannot improve at the back, and look bound for a ninth loss of the campaign on Sunday.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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