Marco Giampaolo feels Sampdoria have every reason to do well against Napoli, even if they are “an almost impossible opponent.”
It kicks off on Sunday at 19.30 UK time (18.30 GMT), click here for a match preview.
The Blucerchiati started their season late due to the Ponte Morandi collapse, meaning their Week 1 fixture with Fiorentina was rescheduled for September 19, and lost the opener to Udinese.
“It’ll be a game with many levels. It’s both for us as a team, us as our fans and as representatives of the city of Genoa, our first home match since the bridge collapse,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“We are playing against Napoli and a Coach in Carlo Ancelotti who is one of the most successful in European history. It’s a match for us to reply to the critics post-Udinese, which were at times excessive and gloating. There are so many reasons for us to play this game well.”
The Sampdoria fans are holding a fund-raising initiative in the stands during the match to help the victims of the disaster, which killed 43 people, left many more homeless and affected businesses in the area.
“Our fans have shown themselves yet again to be a step above the rest,” noted Giampaolo.
Gianluca Caprari was suspended for the Udinese game, but returns to lead the attack, while Riccardo Saponara and Lorenzo Tonelli are also being tipped to start.
“I respect Napoli, but what interests me is putting in a strong performance against an opponent it is almost impossible to beat. I am relying on the ‘almost’ part of that sentence.”
Giampaolo had been one of the main options to take over at Napoli when Maurizio Sarri left, having already replaced him at Empoli, due to their similar style of football.
“Something has changed with Ancelotti, but it’s too early to judge. I knew Sarri’s Napoli and I am still studying Ancelotti’s side. Napoli have a lot of quality and ultimately it’s the players that make the difference.”