Firmly safe from the relegation zone despite having just arrived from Serie B via the playoffs, Sampdoria were tricky opponents for everyone last season. In fact, they were the only team to do the double over Juventus in 2012/13. They began their return to the top flight well, with 11 points from their first five fixtures, but they then sunk to seven consecutive defeats.
Ex-Fiorentina manager Delio Rossi took charge after the winter break and led a revival of fortunes that saw the Blucerchiati pull off a memorable 3-1 derby win against Genova CFC and steadily climb the table to their eventual and very respectable 14th place finish.
It is worth noting that Sampdoria beat Milan at the San Siro on the opening day last year thanks to an Andrea Costa strike, so Juventus will be hoping to avoid a similar upset this time around.
Mauro Icardi was the highest scorer for Rossi’s men with 10 goals. He has now left the club, however, as has their third top marksman, Maxi Lopez with four. Brazilian striker Eder, on the other hand, who contributed seven strikes and is a penalty specialist, will once again be playing up front for Sampdoria in this campaign. He was regularly named man of the match last year and is an important part of the team not only due to his goals but also his assists.
Juve will need to pay attention to corners, an area from which a number of Sampdoria’s crucial goals came last year. Besides the header that defeated Milan at the San Siro, they were the source of further goals against Roma and Palermo, as well as De Silvestri’s strike against Juventus.
The counter attack was the origin of the majority of their goals in 2012/13, and the fact that the Blucerchiati were third last in the statistics for possession and penultimate in the time spent in the opposition half is revealing in this respect.
Serie A home form
Sampdoria’s last five games at home have been mixed in terms of success, but the results suggest an upward trajectory for the Ligurians. Most recently they beat Juventus 3-2 to end their season on a positive note, but previously they had played out a 1-1 draw against Catania. Before that, the results had been disappointing: a 0-3 loss against Fiorentina, a 1-3 reverse at the hands of eventually relegated Palermo and a 0-2 defeat to Inter.
Last five Serie A games
Sampdoria did not fare especially well in their final games of the 2012/13 season, with a draw against Catania falling amongst losses against Fiorentina, Udinese and Lazio. Their very last game, however, did bring joy to the Blucerchiati faithful: a 3-2 victory over Juventus.