After the opening two matches this really is the tale of two front-lines. Sampdoria sit proudly at the top of the Serie A table whilst Atalanta are second from bottom, two defeats for the Bergamaschi whilst the Blucerchiati are yet to drop a point. The form book could only predict one winner here even if Sampdoria have to travel to the notoriously hostile Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia, it would raise a few eyebrows if Atalanta managed to stop Luigi Del Neri’s men getting all three points. Sampdoria have been in top form and although they left it late they beat Catania in Sicily and more impressively put three past Udinese at home. Atalanta in the meantime have not managed a goal as yet although their defeats have not been too heavy. Loosing by a goal to nil on both games away to Lazio first followed by a home defeat by Genoa.
Atalanta -Even though they have lost every game so far, Atalanta will probably not change there first eleven much, if at all. The defeats have not been heavy and the goalkeeper Andrea Consigli will no doubt keep his place along with the back four with José Leonardo Talamonti keeping his place at centre back, he was the only change at the back after defeat at Lazio. The midfield will stay the same with Simone Padoin, Valdes, Edgar Barreto and Tiberio Guarente, however, there is no doubt that the pressure will be on them to try and secure Atalanta’s first goals of the season. Angelo Gregucci will be asking the most of his front two however, Roberto Acquafresca scored fourteen goals last term and the sooner he grabs his first for the Orobici the better. Cristiano Doni also has to step up to the mark and at 36 he will be desperate to prove that this is not a season too far.
6 Bellini – 5 Manfredini – 2 Talamonti – 8 Garics
20 Valdes – 17 Guarente – 16 Barreto – 22 Padoin
9 Acquafresca – 72 Doni
Sampdoria -The attitude of the Sampdoria Boss seems to be that if it isn’t broken, why change it? The only difference between the team that beat Udinese and the team that started on the opening day of the season was the absence of Marco Padalino, although he was on the bench. In all fairness it was a late winner beat Catania, but any doubts were soon eradicated as Giampaolo Pazzini, Daniele Mannini and Antonio Cassano all netted to sink the Bianconeri of Udine. The start is exactly what the fans at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris will have been looking for as Sampdoria enter an exciting season that will see them look towards the UEFA Champions League places. Much of this will depend on whether the forward line on Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini stay fit. The two front men are both firing on all cylinders after only two games, with support from Franco Semioli and Daniele Mannini this could be the main ingredient for Sampdoria’s success.
13 Rossi – 28 Gastaldello – 8 Zauri – 23 Stankevicius
12 Tissone – 7 Mannini – 77 Semioli – 17 Palombo
99 Cassano – 10 Pazzini
The Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia is never an easy place to go and Luigi Del Neri will be more than aware of this fact when his team travel there this weekend. However, goals seem to be a problem for Atalanta and if they do not get off the mark early then they may start to lose confidence and feel the pressure from the crowd. If this does happen then Sampdoria may find themselves with the game in their hands. Sampdoria are looking to continue the form that sees them sit proudly at the top of Serie A albeit after only two games. They have certainly not lacked goals and the partnership of Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini looks as deadly as any in the division. It will be up to Cristiano Doni and all his experience to lift his team for this encounter.