Coach Claudio Ranieri has warned SPAL will be a ‘tougher’ opponent than Lecce but has been extremely happy with Sampdoria’s mentality in recent weeks.
Two penalties from Gaston Ramirez secured 2-1 against Lecce at the Via del Mare, but when SPAL visits on Sunday, Ranieri expects another battle for the points.
“The win against Lecce was important because it gave us confidence and three points,” Ranieri told the club’s website. “But I told the boys that this game will be tougher than the one against Lecce.
“SPAL are a team that are determined to get there. I saw their matches against Napoli and Milan, where the Rossoneri managed to draw in an incredible way in the 94th minute.
“It will be a really tough game, but we must get the job done. SPAL under [Luigi] Di Biagio has been playing with a 4-4-2 and are very compact. They press you and resume play quickly.
“It’s a game that must be read well and interpreted well, aware of the difficulties we will meet.”
The coach confirmed Fabio Quagliarella will be on the bench against the Biancazzurri and said Karol Linetty will be in contention.
“Quagliarella start on the bench,” Ranieri added. “Linetty is 100 per cent recovered.
“Quagliarella has resumed training with us, even if he’s not completely there. I wait for tomorrow’s training, but I believe the doctors will let him be on the bench.”
Ranieri praised his men for their ‘mentality’ and knows it’s a completely different situation than the Blucerchiati are used to.
“At Lecce we were practical and at the moment that’s essential,” he admitted. “We were solid, but basic. The mentality of the team at this moment, satisfies me.
“Sampdoria in recent years haven’t been used to fighting for salvation, while teams like Lecce or SPAL are more used to it.
“Seeing the team acquiring this mentality and determination gives me hope, but you will always have to be alert and strong-willed.
“I’m confident, the boys are running a lot and that’s a sign they’ve worked well.”