Atalanta will be hoping to improve on a disappointing finish to last season, and they should be too strong for Sampdoria in their opening Serie A game.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best online sportsbooks, it is clear that bookmakers and bettors don’t give Sampdoria much of a chance in this game. The home team are as big as +322 to beat Atalanta, with the visitors a short price at -112. If you think the draw is a possibility, you can back it at around +280.
Sampdoria Facing another Battle
The 2021/22 was a dismal one for Sampdoria, although the fact that their survival in Serie A was partially at the expense of city rivals Genoa offered some consolation. It has been a familiar summer for the club; however, many of their better players were moved on, and that means Marco Giampaolo will once again be relying on the core of veterans who flirted with relegation all season.
Veterans Francesco Caputo and Fabio Quagliarella will be key figures in the attack for Sampdoria this season, and Giampaolo will set up with a 4-1-4-1 formation to shield his weak central defense.
A shadow still hangs over the club, with former president Massimo Ferrero having been arrested and ongoing financial restrictions hampering their attempts to strengthen during the summer. All the signs are that Sampdoria are facing another battle for survival.
Atalanta Aiming for Top Four
Such has been Atalanta’s progress in the last few years that their eighth-placed finish last season was regarded as a disappointment. Still, it wasn’t so much their finishing position as the manner of their decline that was the biggest concern. Having lost only three games up to the end of 2021, they were beaten eight times in 2022, including five in their last eight.
Gian Piero Gasperini will once again be aiming for the top four, and it would be no surprise if his tactics paid off again. When in top form, Atalanta are hard to stop. The question hanging over this team is whether they have the ability to dig deep and grind out wins when they aren’t playing well.
There are also questions over whether he has the players to match his ambitious style. Ademola Lookman and Ederson are good recruits, but they will need more consistency in the wide positions this season, while Duvan Zapata’s fitness is also essential to their success.
Serie A Betting Team News
Sampdoria are still not able to select striker Manolo Gabbiadini, who is still around a month away from being fit enough to start, and his experience will be missed, although Caputo is available to lead the forwards, and he should line up alongside new signing Abdelhamid Sabiri.
For Atalanta, the team news is more concerning. Merih Demiral is only recently back in training after recovering from a long-term knee issue so it would be unrealistic to expect him to be available in the short term. Davide Zappacosta, the Italian international is also out, and will be until early September, and Marco Carnesecchi has a shoulder injury. Defender Jose Luis Palomino is another long-term absentee, as he awaits the outcome of an investigation into a failed doping test on his pre-season tour. Given the personnel worries that Gasperini faces he is likely to give debuts to both Jeremie Boga and Ederson.
Serie A Betting Picks
Although they struggled last season and haven’t been able to make many significant additions to their squad, Sampdoria do at least go into this game in reasonable form. Although they only won one game out of three in their preseason, they scored four goals and managed a morale-boosting 1-0 Coppa Italia victory against Reggina last weekend in the First Round of the competition.
If the visitors continue where they left off in 2021-22, then Sampdoria would reasonably expect to earn at least a point from this one. Unfortunately for the home team, that seems unlikely. With time off to recharge their batteries, Atalanta appear to once again be in top gear. They won two out of their four warm-up fixtures but scored an impressive 17 goals, conceding only three in the process.
That should be a cause for alarm for a Sampdoria team that was notoriously fragile in defense last season. They will also be wary against opponents who have an excellent record against them. Atalanta won both games against Sampdoria last season and have won four of their last six meetings in this division, reflecting the diverging fortunes of these two clubs.
The opening weekend can produce some strange results, but this game looks relatively predictable. Sampdoria will defend in depth, and Atalanta will take the game to them in their usual high-energy style. The result could be plenty of entertainment, but ultimately Atalanta are just too strong, and they look like a good pick for the win here.