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May 12, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
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Preview: Sampdoria vs. Spezia - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Sampdoria vs. Spezia - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Wednesday's Serie A clash between Sampdoria and Spezia, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
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Sampdoria host Spezia in Serie A on Wednesday, with the visitors looking to remain outside of the relegation places by gaining a positive result.

The home team, meanwhile, are looking to secure a fourth top-half finish in the last five seasons.

Match preview

After enduring a hugely disappointing season in which they finished 15th in the table last time out, Sampdoria have stabilised this campaign under the stewardship of Claudio Ranieri.

The former Leicester City manager, who guided the Foxes to a maiden Premier League title over five years ago now, has steered Sampdoria to ninth position in the table as things stand, with three wins from their last five matches hugely helping with that.

However, they were outclassed by Ranieri's former club Inter Milan, who were recently anointed Serie A champions for the first time since 2010, in a 5-1 defeat at the weekend.

Many expected Inter to suffer from a hangover after rightly taking part in wild celebrations in Milan throughout the week, but Antonio Conte's side were clearly fuelled on philosophical good spirits rather than alcoholic ones, with Alexis Sanchez's first-half brace helping them to a comfortable victory.

With a five-point cushion ahead of Udinese and Bologna in the bottom half, one more win should be enough to secure a top-half finish for Sampdoria, with a home match against Spezia representing an excellent opportunity of achieving that.

Few would have given Spezia much of a chance in terms of staying up in the club's first ever Serie A campaign, but their destiny remains in their own hands with only three matches of the season remaining.

Vincenzo Italiano, who guided the club to promotion via the playoffs last season, has fostered a side capable of competing against any team in the division, as shown by their recent 1-1 draw against Inter.

However, Spezia's form has significantly dipped in recent weeks, with that draw representing one of only two points they have gained in the last five matches.

They were thrashed 4-1 at home to Napoli on Saturday, with Victor Osimhen's first-half brace sending Gennaro Gattuso's Champions League-chasing side happily on their way.

Fortunately for Spezia, Benevento have been in freefall in recent months, with Filippo Inzaghi's side picking up only one point from their last six matches.

Spezia hold a three-point cushion over their fellow minnows, as well as a stronger head-to-head record, so they can actually afford one more loss than them between now and the end of the season and still survive.

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

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

Team News

Ranieri appears to be in the enviable position of having no known injury or suspension concerns ahead of Wednesday's visit of Spezia.

Given the short turnaround in fixtures, though, the 67-year-old may look to freshen up things with a few changes, particularly after such a disappointing performance against Inter on Saturday.

Veteran forward Fabio Quagliarella could be handed a start, with former Southampton defender Maya Yoshida also an option to potentially shore up the defence.

Spezia, meanwhile, will travel without Matteo Ricci after the midfielder picked up his fifth booking of the season against Napoli.

Gennaro Acampora is primed to replace him at the base of midfield, while goalkeeper Titas Krapikas remains unavailable due to a finger injury.

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Tonelli, Yoshida, Augello; Candreva, Thorsby, Silva, Jankto; Quagliarella, Balde

Spezia possible starting lineup:
Provedel; Vignali, Ismajli, Chabot, Marchizza; Esteves, Acampora, Maggiore; Verde, Nzola, Gyasi

We say: Sampdoria 2-1 Spezia

We expect Sampdoria to be a little too strong for Spezia, who will undoubtedly put up a good fight as they always do under Italiano.

In reality, though, no outcome here would come as a surprise, especially with Spezia having more at stake to fight for on the day.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or an away win 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.Home/Away:data

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Serie A Table
1 38287389355491
2 38247774413379
3 38239690474378
4 38239677383978
5 38245986414577
6 38215126155668
7 381881268581062
8 381711106456862
9 38157165254-252
10 381112154648-245
11 381012164758-1142
12 381011175165-1441
13 38913164759-1240
14 381010184258-1640
15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420
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Championship Table
1 462910775363997
2 462710963303391
3 462415779423787
4 4623111256391780
5 46239145850878
6 4622111373462777
7 461913146254870
8 4618141466491768
9 461911165755268
10 461810185553264
11 461517144752-562
12 461711184152-1162
13 46187214956-761
14 461515165052-260
15 4615121965541157
16 461413194961-1255
17 461216183745-852
18 461313203761-2452
19 46156254668-2251
20 461213215071-2149
21 461111243658-2244
22 461110253969-3043
23 46119264460-1642
24 461211234061-2141
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