SERIE A returns from it's Christmas break, and our man in Rome Marco Di Cosmo (@scioltz) has previewed the Lazio v Sampdoria game for us.
Lazio v Sampdoria | Sunday 15:00 | ESPN
Lazio host Sampdoria as they both share third place in Serie A behind Juventus and Roma.
Sampdoria is one of the best managed teams in the league under Sinisa Mihajlovic. They've had a tremendous start of the season and are seriously competing for a place in Europe.
Lazio have a different look and feel about them from last season, with boss Stefano Pioli adopting a more offensive style of play than his predecessors. It's clearly working when you consider Lazio finished 9th last season.
If you look at Lazio's home record, they've registered five wins and two losses, with no draws yet. They've conceded nine in the seven games with 15 notched (more than two goals per game) so both teams to score might be something to consider.
Sampdoria on the other hand have only suffered one loss from the start of the season, and that was a tough last minute defeat against Inter at San Siro. For this reason I can't back against Sinisa's team and I'd be confident of siding with them even when away from home.
Despite winning just two games out of eight, they've always put in a good show when on the road. They've outsmarted tougher opposition than Lazio when ending Juve's incredible home record of 25 consecutive victories, drawing 1-1 in Turin. In that game, Samp could even have got a win as they outplayed Juventus in the second half.
Sampdoria to avoid defeat is an odds-against shot and I think that's a solid bet at 21/20 with Bet365
Lazio v Sampdoria – Sampdoria +1 (21/20 Bet365)