Roberto Mancini has mused on the Genoa derby kick-off controversy and on how both the Grifone and Sampdoria are revived under new Coaches.
This Sunday lunchtime will see Marassi play host to the Derby della Lanterna, a decision by the Lega Calcio based on television audience but highly criticised by local authorities.
On from MPs unsuccessfully appealing to have the kick-off moved, Ultras from both clubs have indicated their intent to boycott the fixture in protest.
“I am not aware of the details and I do not want to make judgements,” considered former Samp midfielder Mancini in conversation with today’s edition of Il Secolo XIX.
“In England, many of the most important games are played at 12:45 and no-one has said anything. But they do not see every game on TV - they broadcast before Saturday lunchtime and after 17:30, but for lots of the 3pm games, they have to go to the stadium.
“The English stadiums are always full, most of the installations are new and there are no security problems.
“The climate is clam, there are no fences or ditches to divide the crowd from the pitch. Generally, everything runs smoothly.
“I do not know well the reasons for the protest from Genoa and Sampdoria supporters. But it is sad to think of a Genoa derby to be played in a semi-deserted stadium, with two stands empty.
“Sampdoria fans should be in the Sud - this moment is not easy, the team needs their support. I think in the end the Ultras will fill up the Sud as in the old days.
“Italian fans are not wrong. I am a football fan, I have purchased a ticket and I have the right to enter even at five minutes to three, which was the case when I played. All these prohibitions are not good for Italian football. In Turkey there is an old saying: release all…”
The Galatasaray Coach reflected on how he sees both teams head into the Week 22 fixture.
“Samp are a little different, but must be careful - they have just played twice badly, they have had a bit of bad luck and now head back into the fray.
“Genoa seem solid. [Gian Piero] Gasperini is doing a great job, he has pulled them out of trouble. And Sinisa [Mihajlovic] has revived Samp.
“Tactics will count up to a certain point. The two Coaches love attacking football, but they must take into account the moment of their teams. It will be a hard fought derby, as always.
“Are Genoa favourite? It is not always an advantage. The derby is not subject to assessments, because there is no great difference in the values of the team teams and you can cancel out the technical gap with grit.
“The advantage is that Genoa have moved out of trouble two months ago, Samp are not yet as calm, because Sinisa has been working for a little over a month.
“A prediction? It will end 1-1, Eder will score.”