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Champions League Preview: Werder Must Be Wary Of Sampdoria

Werder Bremen Captain Torsten Frings Will Certainly Have A Job To Do In Italy Against Sampdoria.

Last week’s Champions League qualifying encounter saw Werder Bremen smash their Italian opponents by a score of 3-1, thanks to goals from Fritz, Frings and Pizarro, and a lone Pazzini strike at the death to secure an away goal for Sampdoria. While Werder Bremen hold the advantage heading into the second-leg, they will need to be cautious as they fight for a Champions League berth in Italy. Sampdoria are not by any means an easy side to beat at their home ground, and they certainly will not be as unorganized at the back as they were a week earlier in Germany.

Last weekend, Werder Bremen kicked off their Bundesliga season away to Hoffenheim, and they were rather shockingly dispatched. Werder Bremen took an early lead after a Torsten Frings penalty, and things seemed to be going rather well for the Champions League hopefuls. Hoffenheim pressed Werder Bremen – who surely must have had one eye on their upcoming midweek fixture against Sampdoria – and stuck four goals past Thomas Schaff’s side before half-time had come. The defeat serves to prove one thing, if nothing else – Werder Bremen must proceed with caution against a Sampdoria side that have both a great wealth of attacking players, and a vital away goal.

Sampdoria have not yet begun their domestic campaign, and one could make the point that they’re a side who are lacking match sharpness. One could also see it the other way around. Sampdoria will have been training for two weeks now for just these two matches. Antonio Cassano and Giampaolo Pazzini will look to continue their form in front of goal, and in an instant they could change the entire look of this fixture. It will be important for Werder Bremen to score an early goal. If they can do that, they can almost guarantee Champions League football this season. If Sampdoria snatch an early lead, Werder Bremen will need to adopt a counter-attacking tactic and look to catch the Italians on the break.

This fixture has all the makings of becoming a classic. Let’s hope that’s what we get tomorrow night.

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  1. David H

    August 24, 2010 at 6:50 pm

    Samp will do reasonably well in Serie A now, but as with most Serie A teams, their squad is just too thin to have done both. Italian teams usually blow off the Europe League, which hardly helps their co-efficient.

    Platini’s revamp of the Champions League qualifiers to give a little help to the smaller teams/countries unfortunately drags down the competitive integrity of the competition. The best teams should be in it, though maybe the £15 or whatever it is will make a difference in the long run & help those (mostly) eastern European teams. But I’d be pretty pissed off at Platini right now if I were Samp.

  2. David H

    August 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    That was almost unbelievable. Had me jumping & shouting at the TV.

    I watched 4 of the 5 games at once. Two were pretty much incredible. There was some serious drama, the other exciting match being Anderlecht-Partizan. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t seen it, but holy mother of god that was some great stuff today.

    For what it’s worth, I still say Samp will drop precipitously down the table, though not to far, I hope, as I really like Cassano & Pazzini.

    • Dylan Thomas

      August 24, 2010 at 6:33 pm

      It was incredible, yeah. It would have been good seeing them both in the Champions League group stages. Pazzini and Cassano are two players who absolutely deserve CL football. That volley? Come on. Incredible.

      As for their domestic season, I think they’ve shown they’re a better side than most. I don’t think they’ll drop further than 8th, as long as they can keep Pazzini fit and firing.

  3. David H

    August 24, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Yes. I am an idiot. It’s still possible for Bremen, tho. One goal & they’ll go thru.

    • Dylan Thomas

      August 24, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      They’ve got it now. Marin came to life and absolutely changed the tie. Good for him, but Bremen have once again been very suspect in defense. After that 4-1 thumping on the weekend, and now all the work they’ve had to put in to win this, it could be them who slump domestically and not Samp.

  4. David H

    August 24, 2010 at 1:21 am

    Samp have a new coach & not much practice behind them. I really don’t think they can pull this off. Cassano & Pazz didn’t look like they were ready to play at a high level. They were serious overachievers last season. They’ll blow this & drop down the table.

    • Dylan Thomas

      August 24, 2010 at 3:33 pm

      Nice one.

  5. Will G

    August 23, 2010 at 9:08 pm

    Much depends on Frings. Though I just can’t get a handle on this guy from what little I’ve seen. Is he anywhere near the level he was at just 2 years ago? Is he really as much of an “anti-leader” as the Loew relationship implies?

    • Dylan Thomas

      August 23, 2010 at 9:23 pm

      I love Frings. He’s an absolute warrior. There really will be a lot depending on him against Sampdoria, because he’s got Cassano and Palombo to deal with. In the first leg, he was excellent. But in Italy, after having to travel and having to play mid-week, he might have a harder time of it this time around.

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