Sampdoria may cling on to the comfort of a game in hand but the Genoa-based side cannot eclipse their stuttering form and their slide into mid-table mediocrity. Thursday's comprehensive 3-0 defeat to Palermo in Sicily was Domenico Di Carlo's side third successive defeat in a row in all competitions and pushed them down to ninth in the league standings in Serie A.
With 23 points from 17 matches, Samp are seven points off a Europa League slot and a further two behind fourth-placed Roma, who also happen to occupy the final Champions League slot allotted to Italy. It's gradually becoming dire for Samp, who are struggling for creativity and spark in the attacking department.
But hope springs eternal. Along with Parma Samp are defensively the best home side in the division as they have conceded just four goals. The Blucerchiati are also unbeaten in their last six league fixtures in Genoa and will be confident of winning against Roma on Sunday in the lunch-time kick-off.