Luciano Spalletti and his AS Roma side have already had a go on the infamous football roller coaster- and it’s only week 3 of the new campaign.
The team from Italy’s capital failed to make it into Europe’s prestigious Champions League Group Stages, after a Play-off defeat to FC Porto.
And to make things worse, they let slip a two goal lead to lowly Cagliari just before the international break.
Just one week previous, they had thrashed Udinese 4-0 and were in a fantastic position to qualify for the grandest club competition on the planet. Instead, they have to settle with the giant’s little brother- the Europa League.
Spalletti has brought in a lot of players in the summer, including former North Londoners Thomas Vermaelen (on loan from Barcelona) and Federico Fazio (on loan from Tottenham).
Edin Dzeko and Mohammed Salah moved to the Olympico permanently after loan spells last campaign.
Roma’s biggest transfer was Brazilian forward Gerson from Fluminese. The 19-year old cost £14.1 million pounds.
Despite this, the departure of Miralem Pjanic for Juventus has caused a massive hole to form in the team’s midfield. Something that was exploited by Cagliari two weeks ago.
Opponents La Samp travel to the capital with an 100% record to boast. Sampdoria have won two tightly fought contests with Empoli and Atalanta respectively and look to shock Spalletti’s men on Sunday.
Marco Giampaolo’s side sets itself up so that it is difficult for opposition attackers to break them down. Then, through former Inter playmaker Ricky Alvarez and in-form Luis Muriel, La Samp hit you on the counter with enough quality to harm you.
It’s a very simple tactic but one that works so efficiently in Italian football, the foundations are in place for Sampdoria to cause shockwaves this season in Serie ‘A’.
There have only ever been two goalless draws in this contest, making it one that should provide goals, goals, goals.
Elsewhere, Joe Hart is set to make his Torino debut at Atalanta as the former Man City number one starts a new chapter in his career.
His new team have made an ok start to the season, winning one and losing one so far.
Roberto De Zerbi also makes his first appearance in the dugout as Palermo’s new coach after the resignation of Davide Ballardini last week. De Zerbi is the 21st managerial change at the club in just six years.
Palermo have only acquired one point this season and face a Napoli team buoyed by their win over Milan on Match day two.
Genoa are the surprise leaders of Serie ‘A’ with two wins from two. Ivan Juric’s side average three goals a game so far, and will look to continue their perfect start at home to Fiorentina.
Juventus v Sassuolo
Bologna v Cagliari
Milan v Udinese
Pescara v Inter Milan
Chievo v Lazio
Empoli v Crotone