Roma vs Sampdoria: Serie A Preview, Potential Lineups & Prediction

Roma must improve upon their ill-discipline when they meet relegation candidates Sampdoria on Sunday at Stadio Olimpico as Serie A returns. The Giallorossi are without a win in their last three games in all competitions, whilst the Blucerchiati head into this one on the back of a 3-1 win over Verona.

Jose Mourinho’s side suffered defeat in a heated, skirmish-filled Derby della Capitale before the international break that saw red cards galore brandished to players and coaches alike. The quality of the match was poor but it certainly didn’t disappoint in terms of action. Nevertheless, the loss has dampened Roma’s European hopes and back-to-back defeats in Sere A means that they have slipped outside of the top four.

A crucial victory at home to Verona in Sampdoria’s last match sees them just about in with a chance of survival. However, it is not looking hopeful for Dejan Stankovic’s men since they sit second from bottom and remain nine points off escaping the drop zone. The victory was their first since early January and their first at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris this season, which should help provide them with a much-needed boost to issue a stern test up against an out-of-form Roma.



The Giallorossi’s issues are clear – they must stay disciplined. Mourinho has picked up more red cards than any player in Serie A this term and his antics have filtered down to the rest of the squad, as well as the rest of the coaching staff. Roger Ibanez and Bryan Cristante were both dismissed against Lazio last time out, with the former continuing in his comical outings against their city rivals. Ibanez’s foolish dismissal in the first half made it increasingly tough against the Biancocelesti and he will not be able to feature against Sampdoria as a result.

Roma have picked up just one win in their last four Serie A matches and their results continue to go against the odds. Nobody expected Cremonese to defeat them back in February but they responded with a 1-0 win over in-form Juventus at the Olimpico. Despite reaching the quarter-finals of the Europa League since, they also lost 4-3 at home to Sassuolo before their most recent loss in the derby match. The Giallorossi need to be more consistent.

Player to Watch: Chris Smalling 

The Englishman has been ever present at the heart of the three-man defense for Roma so far this season and his performances have been solid of late, despite poor displays by his fellow teammates. The hosts will be without defenders Ibanez, Gianluca Mancini and Marash Kumbulla for this one due to suspension and so a strong outing from Smalling will be imperative if Roma are to find victory.


No victories in their opening eight matches meant it was time up for Marco Giampaolo in Liguria. Former Inter man Stankovic took over duties but has only been able to register three victories in 19 Serie A matches. Sampdoria’s 11-year stay in the Italian top flight appears to be heading towards its conclusion and it will take some turn around if they are to avoid relegation.

The Blucerchiati’s improved home form of late has not been matched on the road. Despite winning more games away from home this season (two), they have suffered defeat in all but one of their last six away matches. Despite being able to fight back from a two-goal deficit in Turin against Juventus in their last fixture on their travels, Sampdoria ended up suffering a 4-2 defeat.

Player to Watch: Manolo Gabbiadini

Gabbiadini has now equalled his best goal output in Serie A for the past two seasons. A brace over Verona last time out means his total is now up to six for the campaign and five of those have come since the turn of the year. Whenever the 31-year-old has scored this season, Sampdoria have got a result and so they may just be in with a chance of doing so if he can get on the scoresheet here.

Team News

Defensive issues are the main theme for Roma in this one and they will be without defenders Ibanez, Kumbulla and Mancini due to suspension. Rick Karsdorp is also out for the rest of the season due to injury. That leaves just Smalling and Diego Llorente to choose from at the heart of defense and the latter has made just two Serie A appearances since joining on loan from Leeds United in January.

A change in formation may be on the cards, unless Mourinho decides to shoehorn another player from his squad into the defense. Nemanja Matic could be forced into the back line, however, that would also leave a big gap in the midfield since Cristante is also suspended after his late red against Lazio. Zeki Celik is another option that could be used on the right-hand side of the defense.

Emil Audero is the main casualty for Sampdoria here and the starting goalkeeper has missed the last two matches due to injury. That has left 19-year-old Martin Turk to take over duties in between the sticks but his inexperience poses questions. Sampdoria also have selection issues at the back since defender Bram Nuytinck is suspended due to yellow card accumulation, whilst Koray Gunter is a doubt and has been training individually of late.

However, veteran midfielder Tomas Rincon is expected to return to the squad after serving his suspension against Verona. Sam Lammers is also likely to make his comeback to the team after recovering from injury to bolster the attacking corps. Andrea Conti and Ignacio Pussetto are out for the rest of the season.

Roma vs Sampdoria Potential Lineups

Roma (3-4-2-1): Rui Patricio; Zeki Celik, Chris Smalling, Diego Llorente; Nicola Zalewski, Georginio Wijnaldum, Nemanja Matic, Leonardo Spinazzola; Lorenzo Pellegrini, Paulo Dybala; Andrea Belotti

Sampdoria (3-4-2-1): Martin Turk; Jeison Murillo, Koray Gunter, Bruno Amione; Alessandro Zanoli, Harry Winks, Tomas Rincon, Tommaso Augello; Mickael Cuisance, Filip Djuricic; Manolo Gabbiadini

Roma vs Sampdoria Prediction

Both sides are hampered by selection issues ahead of the match but it will be interesting to see how Roma cope without most of their central defenders. The Sampdoria attack has been boosted too but their issues at the back also pose problems.

It won’t be as straightforward for Roma as it may seem upon first glance, especially with the Blucerchiati heading into the game on the back of a win. However, the Giallorossi are excellent at the Olimpico, if you forget the Sassuolo result, so we are backing an unconvincing win for Roma.

Prediction: Roma Win