Two clubs desperately in need of points meet in Sicily on Saturday (12.30pm GMT, live on ESPN) when Palermo host Sampdoria at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.
Palermo are already on their second coach of the season, but the arrival of current incumbent Gian Piero Gasperini has not exactly inspired the turnaround that notoriously impatient club president Maurizio Zamparini may have hoped for.
One win, four draws and two defeats have marked Gasperini’s time in charge to date, the second defeat coming in a 4-1 demolition at the hands of Roma last weekend. Gasperini had initially tightened up the Palermo defence but did so at the expense of attacking ambition. He will need to find a better balance if they are to haul themselves out of the bottom three.
Sampdoria are fast falling towards the dreaded relegation places themselves after losing six consecutive matches. They made a superb start back to life in the top flight with three wins from their opening three matches, but two draws and the recent run of defeats now see them just two points above the drop zone.
If Sampdoria coach Ciro Ferrera can take any comfort from the last month it will have been that all of his side’s defeats have been by a single goal, suggesting they are, at least, competitive. But he will know that means little if they cannot get points on the board to arrest their slide.
Betting Tips Verdict: Palermo (23/20 with BetVictor) have drawn four of the seven matches since Gasperini took charge. With top-scorer Fabrizio Miccoli sidelined, Palermo are unlikely to have the necessary cutting edge to obtain more than a point.