Sampdoria vs Chievo Preview

Chievo goalkeeper Christian Puggioni insists his side are the clear underdogs going into Sunday's mid-table Serie A meeting with Sampdoria.

Chievo take the lead but....

The two clubs enjoy a share of 12th place having accrued 29 points apiece but there can be no doubt over which side is in better form, with Samp beating Juventus and Roma while holding AC Milan and Napoli to goalless draws, as Chievo struggle to pick up points or even score both at home and away.

Puggioni took heart from a hard-earned point from a 1-1 draw with Palermo last time out, but he knows Delio Rossi has made facing Samp a daunting proposition.

He told the Corriere dello Sport: "We meet a squad in rude health who have just picked up a big result away from home.

"We had snapped our own bad run before we lost to Juve and Inter, but then we took a good point home.

"It's important that we concentrate on what we are doing. It's right that we give our opponents the respect they deserve but we need to be aware that we are doing good things too."

Gennaro Sardo, Adrian Stoian, Lorenzo Squizzi and Nikos Spyropoulos are all sidelined through injury but Chievo head coach Eugenio Corini has no suspension concerns.

The absence of injured trio Angelo Palombo, Renan and Enzo Maresca provides Samp boss Rossi with some food for thought but defender Daniele Gastaldello feels his team have gone from strength to strength under Rossi, who replaced Ciro Ferrara in December.

"We've contested the last eight games with exactly the right spirit," he said. "Against Juventus we had a numerical disadvantage but we got the result, then at the San Paolo we played well, especially in the first half.

"These mature displays give us strength and awareness of our own abilities, now we have to try and win our next challenge against Chievo."

Former Fiorentina and Palermo coach Rossi added: "It will be a delicate game as we are going up against a direct rival and so we need to get the points.

"It will be another tough test for us but we are on a high, feeling well equipped and well prepared."

Chievo have not claimed all three points from Sampdoria at the Marassi since September 2005.

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