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Ranieri ready for first time against Spezia

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Ranieri ready for first time against Spezia

After putting an end to Inter’s winning run in midweek, the next task for Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria is a decidedly different one: a historic first-ever competitive match against fellow Liguria side Spezia.

The novelty of the occasion has not been lost on the boss, who praised the Serie A newcomers when he addressed the media ahead of Monday’s fixture at the Stadio Picco.

“Spezia play good football: they know what they want to do and how to achieve it. They haven’t won as many games as they’ve deserved but they beat Napoli away in their last match. They’ll be tough opponents.

“The purists say it’s not a real derby but it’s a special game because the cities are so close and it’s the first time, so they’ll want to win it as we do.”

With three fixtures left – Spezia, Udinese and Parma – before the halfway stage of the Serie A campaign, Ranieri called on his team to become more consistent and seize control of their own destiny.

“We’ve had some good performances so far but there have been ups and downs results-wise. I said to the lads that our fate is in our own hands. We want to see how well we can do between now and the midway point.

“The games are coming thick and fast at the moment. These are two very unusual seasons because of COVID but there’s no point complaining about it – we just have to be ready.”

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