25 May 2019
Eight victories, five draws and six defeats: this was the record of Sampdoria at the end of our first Serie A encounter this season. 29 points that at that time placed Giampaolo's line-up in 7th place and in full contention for the Europa League, with an eye on the Champions League, given that fourth place was only 3 points away. However, it is at the beginning of the second half of the league that the dream of a return to Europe is shipwrecked. Three consecutive defeats distance Sampdoria away from the European competitions and their dream fades. Any result that occurs on Sunday against Juve will see Sampdoria finish ninth, improving their ranking from the last two years.
Sampdoria's first victory of the season came during their third match and was one of the most brilliant games of the entire season. The hosts scored three goals against Napoli with Defrel scoring two in the first half. A quarter of an hour from the end, Quagliarella scored a masterpiece that sealed an important win.
After winning 3-0 in the first match against Napoli, in the return fixture, Sampdoria were on the losing end of the same score line. The defeat is particularly serious because it arrived the week after the brilliant 4-0 win against Udinese that took Sampdoria to sixth place. A place that edged them closer to the European competition they so desired.
THE ONE TO WATCH
With 26 goals, Fabio Quagliarella is one step away from winning the title of this season’s Serie A top scored. Genoa is the ideal environment for him: In the last 3 years, he has always scored in double figures, improving his score every season. Quagliarella has also provided many assists for his teammates, indirectly creating scoring chances in games where he does not find the back of the net.
Giampaolo's Sampdoria is one of the teams that has tactically changed the least this season. Their game is based on compactness in every department with a determined focus on keepin the ball. They are sixth in possession ranking, just behind the Bianconeri. Above all, they cause many attacking problems for their opponents.
The 4, 3, 1, 2 line-up is the mantra of Gianpaolo. Different players alternate between the front three, with one exception, Fabio Quagliarella who is always present. As you can see, Sampdoria display a variety of tactics and options in order to create goal-scoring opportunities, showing an extraordinary ability and an excellent precision in attack.
The Quagliarella effect is real. The Sampdoria striker is the league's top scorer with 26 goals and he has a number of assist to his name as well. He clearly has freedom of variety to weave in and out, making runs to attempt chances on goal. Even in the first leg at Allianz Stadium, Quagliarella was by far the most dangerous player with four solid goal-scoring opportunities. However, his positioning on the field is always at the edge of the opposing defense that led him to be the top player called for off-sides ( 36) this season.