Sampdoria vs. Milan preview: Samp chase a second giant killing in as many weeks

Claudio Villa

After overcoming Juventus last week, Sampdoria now train their eyes on a Milan side keen to climb the table yet further following strong pre-Christmas form.

For a side looking just to avoid relegation and one that had not won in their last four matches before Christmas, a trip to the Juventus Stadium seemed like the worst possible start to the new year however Sampdoria came away from Turin with all of the points, even despite Gaetano Berardi's 32nd minute sending off . Thanks to some quick countering and a couple of cute finishes from Mauro Icardi, Sampdoria levered some daylight between themselves and the bottom three and although they are only four points from danger, they are only two points from Atalanta in 12th.

Milan finally hit some kind of form in the run up to the winter break, winning four of their last five prior to Christmas and, despite the Kevin-Prince Boateng incident threatening to derail them, carried this on with a win over lowly Siena. Milan were eliminated from the Coppa Italia in midweek but it took extra time for Juventus to get the better of them, the 120 extra minutes in the players' legs could prove costly.

Given Milan's recent upturn in form, their fans will be expecting a win here however Sampdoria's performance against Juventus showed that they can come out on top against the big sides. Milan will be looking, as always, to Stephen El-Shaarawy whilst Sampdoria will be hoping for more goalkeeping heroics from Sergio Romero.

Both sides' injury lists are on the long side, with Milan missing a significant portion of their defensive reserves whilst Sampdoria may have to do without the hero of Turin Icardi, as well as Berardi who will serve his suspension for his sending off.

Sampdoria Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Maxi Lopez, Enzo Maresca, Nicola Pozzi (injured), Gaetano Berardi (suspended). In Doubt: Mauro Icardi, Juan Antonio, Paolo Castellini

Milan Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Danele Bonera, Mario Yepes, Nigel De Jong, Didac Vila (injured), Giampaolo Pazzini (suspended), Djamel Mesbah (African Cup of Nations). In Doubt: Sulley Muntari, Robinho, Kevin Constant, Massimo Ambrosini, Cristian Zapata

Match Date/Time: Sunday 13th January 2013 8.45pm local, 2.45pm ET.

Venue: Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris, Genoa

TV: Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy), RAI Internazionale (USA), ESPN UK/HD (UK)

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