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Giampaolo: “Decisive game in race for Champions League, not Europa League”

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Giampaolo: “Decisive game in race for Champions League, not Europa League”

Marco Giampaolo believes that Wednesday night’s trip to the Stadio Olimpico in Turin to take on Torino will prove to be a crunch match in the Blucerchiati’s push to secure European football next season.

“It will definitely be a decisive game in the race for the Champions League, but not for the Europa League,” said the Doria boss, speaking on Tuesday. “We’re up there and we have to give it everything we’ve got, but just being able to talk about the Champions League on 2 April is a massive step forward for us.”

Following the impressive 1-0 win over AC Milan last time out, Samp have been training in Granozzo con Monticello to ensure the team recovers in time for the trip to Turin.

“The three points we got on Saturday night give us impetus and belief, but at the same time we’ve been left with fatigue and a few knocks,” said Giampaolo. “The match against the Rossoneri was the most intense game we’ve played all season, so we need to make sure we recover quickly. That’s the main reason behind this training camp, though it was already organised anyway.”

Giampaolo went on to speak about the strengths of Wednesday’s opponents.

“Torino are a good side – they’ve been put together to strive for certain goals,” he said. “They kept hold of Belotti in the summer despite receiving offers that were virtually unrejectable, in addition to bolstering the squad with quality and physical strength. I’m expecting a tough, tricky game. We’re in the middle of a packed run and we need to step up.”

Despite the size of the challenge, the boss has confidence in his squad.

“As I said before the AC Milan game, I’ll pick the best eleven for the match,” he said. “We have a few players at risk of injury, so we’ll need to make sure we use them wisely. I’ll pick the players that I think can make the biggest contribution.”

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