Thursday, 29 September 2011

Sampdoria V Torino Preview

With a combined eight Serie A titles between the two teams, Friday night's Serie B fixture between Sampdoria and Torino is one that would not look out of place in the top tier of Italian football.

Because of their impressive histories (and squads), both Sampdoria and Torino were expected to be amongst the leading contenders to gain promotion to Serie A, and so far this season, they have lived up to those expectations, as both sides have yet to be defeated this season.

Toro have enjoyed the better start and find themselves joint top of the division with four wins (three of which away from home) and two draws from their opening six matches. Sampdoria find themselves two points behind Toro as they have won one game less than their opponents.

One might be tempted to use the slogan made famous by boxing announcer Michael Buffer in order to the hype this game between two unbeaten teams, but as there is a 33.3% chance that this game will end in a draw, then the use of the aforementioned slogan -  'Somebody's "O" has got to go' would be quite pointless.

Instead, this game has received some attention due to the fact it could be seen as a head to head battle between two players called Angelo who still have ambitions of being included in Italy's squad for Euro 2012, despite playing their club football in Serie B.

Sampdoria midfielder Angelo Palombo surprised many by choosing to stay with the club following their relegation to the second tier and has already gained 22 caps for his country. Toro defender Angelo Ogbonna is yet to make his Italy debut, but has recently been included in two squads by Cesare Prandelli, and is expected to get a cap for the national team sooner rather than later.

Toro are expected to revert to their normal 4-4-2 (4-2-4) formation after playing an unfamiliar 4-3-3 formation against Nocerina last Saturday, whilst Juan Surraco and Biagio Pagano will compete for a place as one of the two wingers, with Alen Stevanovic likely to occupy the other wing.

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