Saturday's live Serie A clash features two managers that like to adopt a cautious approach.
Sampdoria v Genoa - Saturday 17:00, BT Sport 2
After winning their first two games of the season, Sampdoria have since picked up just two points from their last six to drop down to 15th, the positon they ended up in last season. Genoa also won their first two but have lost just once since and as a result are up in 10th, though they’ve struggled for goals somewhat as they’ve managed just two in their last five.
Despite their slow start, only Milan have beaten Sampdoria at home so far and it was a similar story last term as five of their seven home defeats came against sides in the top seven and they went W7-D3-L2 against the rest of the division. Of course, these teams share this stadium so Genoa are only nominally the away side and it’s a curious fact that the home side has won just one of the last eight Derby della Lanterna’s.
Since Genoa have lost 13 of their 22 road games since the start of last season, they look too short to win at 2.55, though of course they did win this fixture 3-0 at the end of the campaign. Furthermore, if we ignore the venue they’ve gone W5-D2-L3 in their last 10 games against bottom-half teams and so we’ll leave the match outcome alone.
Both meetings last season saw goals but we’ve got two new managers, both of whom generally prefer a cautious approach. Genoa’s last five games have all been goalless at half-time and seen just five goals in total while high-scoring Roma are the only side to net more than twice in a Sampdoria match this season as five of their eight games have had fewer than three goals. Therefore, we expect a cautious derby and we’ll back Under 1.5 Goals at 3.35, a bet we’re particularly keen on given Genoa’s key striker Leonardo Pavoletti is once again expected to be out.