West Ham United are pleased to announce that Italian giants UC Sampdoria have been confirmed as the opposition for the first-ever Marathonbet Cup, which will be held at the Boleyn Ground on Saturday 9 August at 3pm.
Four-time Italian Cup winners and 1991 Serie A champions, 'i Blucerchiati' will provide the Hammers with their final pre-season test ahead of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign.
Managed by former Yugoslavia defender Siniša Mihajlović, Sampdoria finished 12th in Serie A last season but will be hopeful of challenging for a European place next term.
The Genoa-based club possesses a cosmopolitan squad featuring the likes of Italy striker Manolo Gabbiadini, Serbia midfielder Nenad Krsticic, Iceland midfielder Birkir Bjarnason and Poland duo Bartosz Salamon and Paweł Wszołek, while Mihajlović's team is captained by Daniele Gastaldello.
Two Sampdoria players have experience of English football - Germany international defender Shkodran Mustafi spent two years with Everton as a youngster, while Italian forward Stefano Okaka scored Fulham's winner in a 3-2 Premier League victory against West Ham at Craven Cottage in May 2010.
West Ham have met il Doria just once previously, but Hammers fans will be hoping for better than the 6-1 Makita International Tournament defeat suffered at Highbury in August 1991. That day, Renato Buso scored four times and Toninho Cerezo and Attilio Lombardo once each for the Italians, with George Parris netting the Hammers' consolation goal.
In all, Sampdoria won the Makita Tournament in three straight seasons between 1990 and 1992, beating Arsenal in two finals before overcoming Leeds United in the third.
The Italian club will be visiting England for the first time in seven years, with Alan Smith scoring Newcastle United's winner in a 1-0 victory at St James' Park in August 2007 during their last visit to the country.
The visit of Sampdoria completes a rich and varied pre-season schedule for Sam Allardyce's squad, which includes fixtures against seven teams from six different countries.
Tickets for this game will be priced at £15 for Adult Season Ticket Holders and £5 for Under-16s with a Season Ticket. Non-Season Ticket Holders can buy their tickets in advance at £20 for Adults and £10 Under-16s. Matchday prices rise by £5 in both categories. Season Ticket Holders can buy their tickets now by clicking here. General Sale begins on Tuesday 1 July.
Pre-season fixtures 2014/15
Sat 12 July v Stevenage (Lamex Stadium, 3pm)
Wed 16 July v Ipswich Town (Portman Road, 7.45pm)
Wed 23 July v Wellington Phoenix (Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand, 7.45pm local time)
Sat 26 July v Sydney FC (Westpac Stadium, Wellington, New Zealand, 2pm local time)
Sat 2 Aug v Schalke 04 (Schalke 04 Cup, Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, 5.30pm local time)
Sun 3 Aug v Malaga (Schalke 04 Cup, Veltins Arena, Gelsenkirchen, Germany, 3.30pm local time)
Sat 9 Aug Marathonbet Cup v UC Sampdoria (Boleyn Ground, 3pm)
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