WE'VE sealed another stellar signing for the new campaign with Serie A don Paolo Bandini bringing his expertise to the site thanks to our partner Unibet.

Paolo is an Anglo-Italian sportswriter who pens a superb weekly Serie A column for the Guardian and his other credits include ESPN, the BBC and TalkSport as well as making regular appearances on the Football Weekly podcast.

He's a Trevi Fountain of knowledge and we're delighted to have him on board. Here he previews the Derby della Lanterna on Saturday night.

Genoa v Sampdoria (Sat 7.45pm)

At 14 points, the gap between Sampdoria and Genoa is the widest it has ever been for the first Derby della Lanterna of a season.

Samp are soaring: sixth in the table with 22 goals scored in 10 games. Genoa, by contrast, have dropped into the relegation zone following last weekend’s defeat to newly-promoted Spal.

In response to that result, Ivan Juric took his squad away this week for an emergency training camp. Reports suggest that this was more an exercise in team bonding than tactical refinement, with players sharing rooms and training sessions dominated by small-sided games.

A squad containing the likes of Mattia Perin, Adel Taarabt and Miguel Veloso has sufficient talent to survive, so it stands to reason that the manager might want to focus on players’ state of mind.

His opposite number, Marco Giampaolo, had his preparations disrupted by minor surgery this week, but was back at training on Thursday and his greatest trouble might be settling on a starting XI. He has used 24 players in 10 games already, deploying a horses-for-courses approach to target the weaknesses of each opponent.

Certain elements, though, are constant. Youngsters Dennis Praet and Lucas Torreira have started every game in midfield, as has the veteran Fabio Quagliarella up front.

The latter leads the team with six goals, and confessed this week that he likes the idea of becoming a ‘bandiera’ – a club icon – during this final stage of his career with Sampdoria. Goals in derbies have a way of cementing that kind of status.

Paolo's Tips

  • Correct score: Genoa 2 Sampdoria 3 (28-1, Unibet)
  • First scorer: Quagliarella (22-5, Unibet)
  • Sampdoria win (31-20, Unibet)

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Anglo-Italian Paolo Bandini writes about Italian football for the Guardian and his tips appear here thanks to our football partner at MrFixitsTips, Unibet. They're making a big splash in the UK betting scene and if you join them today you can claim up to £30 in Welcome Bonuses when you deposit and place your first bet.

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