Giampaolo looks to keep run going at Lazio: “We don’t want to be their mechanic”

Marco Giampaolo is confident Sampdoria have what it takes to get a result at Lazio on Saturday despite facing a side determined to return to winning ways.

The Biancocelesti haven’t won in the league since beating SPAL 4-1 at the start of November, recording three successive draws, and Lazio president Claudio Lotito recently described the team as “a Ferrari with some engine problems”. However, Giampaolo is rightly focused on ensuring Samp extend their own form after two wins and a draw in their last three outings.

“We want to keep our run going and we’ll look to play our game at the Olimpico,” he stressed at a news conference on Friday. “We know Lazio are a very good side but I have confidence in my players.

“They’ve been described as a Ferrari with problems but we don’t want to be the mechanic that gets them going again.”

Tuesday’s cup win against SPAL showed the strength of Sampdoria’s squad as the boss rotated his men but he was dismissive when asked about his “second string”.

“I know the players I train and I know who I can count on. I know who my starters are and there aren’t just 11 of them. They’re all starters. You can be a starter even if you start on the bench sometimes. My choices depend on lots of factors.”

One area where the coach is spoilt for choice is the trequartista role behind the forwards, where Gaston Ramirez and Riccardo Saponara are in contention for a starting berth.

Giampaolo confirmed: “One of the two will start and the other will be on the bench initially – but not because he doesn’t deserve to start. They’re both great players and there’s no reason why I shouldn’t alternate them and use both during the course of the game.

“The same goes for other areas, as we’ve done with [Gregoire] Defrel and [Gianluca] Caprari up to now.”

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