The final Serie A match of Round 35 will take place on Monday night at Stadio Luigi Ferraris between Sampdoria and Empoli.
Following their relegation, the hosts will not participate in the league the following year, while their opponents are almost certain to remain in the top division.
Sampdoria, which was officially demoted from Serie A (SA) with four rounds remaining after a 2-0 loss to Udinese last Monday, may also be administratively demoted to Serie D as a result of a potential bankruptcy, according to sources. Despite his “huge disappointment and sadness” with the outcome, coach Dejan Stankovi is hopeful that the “situation can be resolved in the best possible way.”
It’s not surprising that La Samp became the first SA team to lose this season with just one win in 19 games played (D5, L13). Any gains made here can only be considered a bonus since they are already guaranteed to have their lowest season point total since the three points per win era. Stadio Luigi Ferraris could yet offer some respite for a troubled club lacking in confidence. They have avoided defeat in four of their previous seven home games (W1, D3, L3).
Monday’s 2-1 victory over Salernitana gave Empoli their second consecutive victory of the season, bringing them closer to mathematical safety while keeping them two points short of the coveted 40 points threshold. The team is looking to extend their winning streak and post a top flight season H2H double over Sampdoria for the first time since 2006/07 after a 1-0 victory in the opposite match, and coach Paolo Zanetti praised “the desire to fight for every ball” as they attempt to accomplish so.
To do that, the Azzurri must snap a seven games road losing record (D2, L5) that was bounded by two straight losses, one of which came against relegation threatened Cremonese. Empoli must overcome their fear of scoring goals, as they have failed to score in 15 of their 27 SA H2H encounters, with their only other poorer performance coming against Juventus.
Veteran Sampdoria striker Fabio Quagliarella has fond memories of playing Empoli because he has assisted in a goal in each of their previous four SA head to head matches (G4, A1). Francesco Caputo of Empoli, who is as effective in this match, had a great day on his previous personal head to head encounter, scoring and helping Sassuolo to a 3-2 victory.
Due to Tomas Rincon’s ban, Sampdoria’s Michael Cuisance and Harry Winks could play together in central midfield.
Daniele Montevago, who has joined the Italy Under-20 team in preparation for the World Cup, will not be present for the demoted team.
Ignacio Pussetto and Andrea Conti, who have been sidelined since November 2022, have been injured, along with Emil Audero and Mehdi Leris.
The Empoli center-back Koni De Winter has been injured since mid-April, thus it is unlikely that he will play at the Marassi.
For the upcoming Under-20 World Cup, Tommaso Baldanzi and Gabriele Guarino have also been invited to the national team.
Possible starting lineup for Sampdoria
Ravaglia, Gunter, Nuytinck, Amione, Zanoli, Winks, Cuisance, Augello, Djuricic, Jese and Gabbiadini.
Possible starting lineup for Empoli
Vicario, Ebuehi, Walukiewicz, Luperto, Parisi, Akpro, Marin, Bandinelli, Henderson, Caputo and Cambiaghi.
We predict: Sampdoria 1-1 Empoli
Samp’s nine goals at the Marassi, which rank as the fewest in the division, and Empoli’s 13 away goals, which are more than three Serie A teams, make this a difficult decision.
The game on Monday should have few goals because both sides should balance one another out.