Serie A’s form side Fiorentina will be hopeful of a fifth consecutive home victory when they take on Sampdoria at the Stadio Artemio Franchi on Sunday (7.45pm GMT, live on ESPN).
The Viola underwent a revolution in the summer, with a new coach, Vincenzo Montella, and 18 new players arriving to overhaul a squad that had finished a lowly 13th last season.
The new recruits have gelled quickly, and Fiorentina are currently third, just four points shy of leaders Juventus. They are undefeated in eight matches, winning six of them, but most impressively have achieved success while playing attractive, possession-based football that has drawn admiration from many quarters.
Sampdoria have not earned quite so many plaudits, but are doing a solid job back in the top flight after winning promotion through the playoffs. They are currently 13th, five points clear of the relegation zone and just a win away from potentially moving up into the top 10.
The Blucerchiati won their first three matches of the season before going on a poor run that saw them win just one of their next 10. They have bounced back in recent weeks, however, with a 3-1 victory over local rivals Genoa followed by a 1-0 win over Bologna last weekend.
Avoiding relegation will be Sampdoria’s primary aim this season and if they can continue to pick up points at their current rate that should be achieved.
This Preview’s Betting Tip: Fiorentina are in excellent form and are favourites to win this match (best price of 1/2 with BetVictor, Ladbrokes or Coral), but we do not foresee them winning by a large margin. Only one of Sampdoria’s seven defeats this season has been by more than one goal, while Fiorentina are likely to be without Luca Toni and Stevan Jovetic, their two top scorers.
- Therefore, back Sampdoria +1.5 on the Asian Handicap @ 11/18 with Pinnacle.