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.