Insight, form and news ahead of Monday night's meeting with Samp.
#1. Head to Head. When Sampdoria came to the Bentegodi at the beginning of October, it finished 2-0 for the home side, with Kumbulla scoring the first goal of his career (a trademark header at the front post from a Veloso corner) and a late second half O.G. (coming from a vicious Veloso free kick). While Hellas are unquestionably the form team, Sampdoria haven't lost at home to Verona in over 40 years!
#2. The form book. With last weekend's game against Cagliari postponed on public health grounds, Hellas Verona remain unbeaten this year, a point behind Milan and Napoli, but with a game in hand. Meanwhile Sampdoria are struggling at the other end of the table, just one point above the drop zone. In recent fixtures, they've lost heavily to Lazio, Napoli and Fiorentina, while picking up points against Torino (1-3) and Sassuolo (0-0).
#3. On the march with the Hellas Army. As a consequence of the late Monday evening kick-off time and ongoing uncertainty in light of the coronavirus scare, it will be a severally diminished Hellas Army that makes the three-hour trip to Genoa. At the time of writing around 100 tickets had been sold for the away end. Those travelling fans who travel are guaranteed a warm welcome at the Stadio Ferraris, as Hellas enjoys a longstanding 'gemellaggio' with the Doriani, second only to their historic friendship with Fiorentina.
#4. Runners and riders. For Hellas, Veloso remains suspended, and Borini and Pazzini are also still struggling with injury. Davide Faraoni has also been carrying a knock, but he seems likely to recover in time to occupy his usual place on the right flank. Expect to see Pessina drop back into Veloso's holding role or perhaps even a rare appearance from Badu. With limited options up front, Stepinski may also make a rare appearance and Salcedo has also resumed training following a couple of months on the sidelines. For Sampdoria, influential Polish midfielder Karol Linetty is nursing a bruised hip and may miss out.
#5.Samp's tinkerman. When Claudio Ranieri took over from Eusebio Di Francesco in October (the 2-0 defeat against Verona was his last match in charge), Sampdoria were bottom of the table. Since then, I Blucerchiati have won five, drawn five and lost eight. Whilst that is not a record that Ranieri will be particularly proud of, he has at least lifted Sampdoria out of the drop zone.