Sampdoria vs Genoa, Preview: Forget El Clasico, this one's El Sackico

Valerio Pennicino

The stakes couldn’t be higher for Sunday's Derby della Lanterna.

To say both sides are out of luck is a bit of an understatement. Sampdoria are a side in crisis, having lost seven on the bounce, while neighbours Genoa have lost all five of their games since Luigi Del Neri took charge. Ouch!

By late Sunday evening, at least one of these sides will have put a point or maybe more on the board. By Monday, both coaches know they could be unemployed, should the result go against them.

After last Sunday's 2-0 loss at Palermo, under-fire Samp tactician Ciro Ferrara refused to resign. This pushed the fans' patience over the edge, leading to a group of ‘Ultras' blocking the team bus upon its return in Genoa.

A hastily arranged meeting was set-up between the ‘Ultras', along with Ferrara and club captain Daniele Gastaldello on Tuesday. However, just one day later, fans were pelting the training ground with fireworks and smoke bombs. I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

Samp vice president Edoardo Garrone has since written an open letter stating the team "needs confidence."

He said: "We are going through a difficult and delicate period. That is clear for all to see."

"The derby is a game that does not need presentation, as we all know what it means to those in our city. Today more than ever this match has a fundamental importance for morale and the table.

"The tension is rising and the prize at stake is particularly precious. I expect to see a team with grit, the utmost effort and determination. I want a sporting battle, but a fair one.

"In the stands and outside the stadium I want the passion of our extraordinary fans to drag our lads forward in the full respect of the values and rules of this sport.

Genoa will perhaps feel hard done by to have lost 4-2 against Napoli last week, but are boosted by the timely return to fitness of ex-Samp marksman Marco Borriello.

The Grifone played a huge part in sending Sampdoria into Serie B just 18 months ago. They have also won five of the last six meetings.

Sampdoria currently sit one point and just one place above their relegation threatened rivals. To the victor go the spoils and the bragging rights.

Sampdoria injuries and suspensions

Out: Gaetano Berardi, Nicola Pozzi (injured) In doubt: Maxi Lopez, Eder

Genoa injuries and suspensions

Out: Damiano Ferronetti, Juan Manuel Vargas, Anselmo, Cristobal Jorquera (injured) In doubt: Juraj Kucka

Match Date/Time: Sunday 18th November 2012 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy) RAI Internazionale, beIN Sport 1 (U.S.)

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