Nothing to play for in Hungary

Sampdoria’s 2-1 defeat to PSV Eindhoven in the last round ended

their hopes of playing in Europe in the new year, while the

Hungarians suffered their fifth loss in the tournament with a 2-1

setback at Metalist earlier this month. The Italians are third in

the standings, five points clear of rock-bottom Debrecen. Samp go

into the encounter at the Ferenc Puskas stadium on the back of

Sunday’s 1-0 defeat at Brescia. The result ended a four-match

unbeaten run for Samp and dropped them to eighth in Serie A.

“Brescia took one shot and they scored,” said Samp coach Domenico

Di Carlo. “Although my team played well, we didn’t make the most of

our chances. “We must improve on certain aspects of our game. “We

have to play better in attack and not expect (striker Giampaolo)

Pazzini to always deliver in front of goal.” With Samp ending the

year against Genoa in Sunday’s city derby, Di Carlo will make

wholesale changes to the side that lost at Brescia. “Sunday’s game

is a very important game for us,” said Di Carlo. “The players are

looking forward to the match. “We want to win this derby.” Samp’s

top scorer Pazzini is among the players that have remained in Genoa

to prepare for the upcoming derby at the Luigi Ferraris stadium.

Pazzini’s absence will be a relief for Debrecen as it was his

penalty goal that proved the difference when the two sides last met

back in September. Di Carlo has included 10 players from the

reserve team for the trip to Budapest. Third-choice goalkeeper

Vincenzo Fiorillo could make his season debut at Debrecen on

Thursday with Samp’s number one Gianluca Curci having been given

the night off. Andras Herczeg’s Debrecen are desperate to finish a

dismal campaign on a high note. Debrecen are the only side along

with FC Karpaty Lviv yet to pick up a point in the group stage.

They have found the net just twice in the competition while

conceding 13 goals so far.