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Youthful Sampdoria trying to turn ‘sci-fi’ Champions League fantasy into reality

Marco Giampaolo is playing down talk of special season for a Sampdoria side flying high with a dynamic midfield trio of young 20-somethings at its heart

Don’t call it fake news. If you ask the Sampdoria manager Marco Giampaolo, the idea that his team might compete for a Champions League spot this season is more like “science-fiction”. That was the term he used on Saturday night, after guiding his team to victory in the Derby della Lanterna.

Why would we moot such a possibility? A 2-0 win only kept them in sixth place – five points outside the top four. It was not a surprising result on its own terms; Genoa had begun the day in the relegation zone. The 14-point gap between the two teams before kick-off was the widest it had ever been for the first derby of a season.

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