Sampdoria vs Lazio, Preview: An old face stands in the way of a Lazio victory.

Gabriele Maltinti

Delio Rossi faces a baptism of fire for his debut in the Sampdoria hotseat, welcoming former club Lazio to town.

Last weekend's 3-1 loss at Catania was the final straw for Ciro Ferrara and the Sampdoria board who felt that a change was necessary. 52-year-old Delio Rossi has been out of work since being dismissed by Fiorentina back in May, for lashing out at young striker Adem Ljacic.

Rossi has acted quickly and brought influential midfielder Angelo Palombo back into the fold. Palombo hasn't featured for the club since returning from a loan spell at Inter Milan, but has been named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.

It's unclear whether Maxi Lopez will take to the field, as he is still recuperating from a knee injury. Much sought after midfielder Pedro Obiang is expected to play, after the club ruled out a move during the January transfer window.

Lazio have struggled whenever Miroslav Klose hasn't played this season. The German popped up with a late goal to sink Inter Milan last weekend. Without him, the team laboured to a penalty shootout victory over Siena in a midweek Coppa Italia tie after Michael Ciani rescued the game with a last-gasp header in stoppage time.

Mauro Zarate is on a self-imposed strike after refusing to go on the bench last weekend. Maurito is training alone and looks to have played his final minutes in a Lazio shirt, with a January split looking imminent.

Andre Dias has recovered quicker than expected from injury, but could find it tough to displace Ciani, who is beginning to find his feet in Rome. Antonio Candreva limped out of training, but is suspended for this game anyway after triggering one too many bookings.

The Eagles will be looking to extend their unbeaten league record to seven games and consolidate a top three place over the festive break. Victory will be tough though, considering Lazio have lost on five of their last six visits in this fixture.

Sampdoria injuries and suspensions

Out: Fernando Tissone(suspended) Maxi Lopez (in doubt)

Lazio injuries and suspensions

Out: Ederson, Tommaso Rocchi (injured) Antonio Candreva (suspended)

Match Date/Time: Saturday 22nd December 2012 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 2 (Italy)

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