Siena vs Sampdoria, Preview: Samp favourites in Tuscan trip

Gabriele Maltinti

With Siena having lost eight games consecutively in all competitions, Sampdoria will surely be looking for all three points away at the side propping up the Serie A table.

But, to contort a famous phrase, hell hath no fury like a Beppe Iachini scorned, and with the Siena coach having been rewarded with the sack for getting Sampdoria promoted last season, he will be up for some revenge.

Nevertheless, Siena still stuck on just 11 points from the opening 20 matches, they are almost relegation certainties already. Since sacking coach Serse Cosmi in December, they have lost every match. A sound decision by President Mezzaroma, then.

Samp are also struggling in what is their return season to the top flight, though are rather better placed to survive the drop. A win and a draw against Juventus and Milan served as much-needed confidence boosters after three straight league defeats, though with the blucerchiati still only four points above the relegation zone, it is not yet time for them to let their guard down.

This match will be Siena's first without their top scorer and bandiera Emanuele Calaiò, who has secured himself a return to Napoli. Making matters worse is the fact they haven't beaten Sampdoria since 2006, with the Genoese club enjoying their games against the Tuscans in recent years -- winning the last three competitive fixtures against the bianconeri.

Samp could have striker Maxi López back from his injury lay-off, though unlike Siena -- who have a full-strength team available -- they are without a few players through injury, including the season's midfield revelation Enzo Maresca.

Siena Injuries and Suspensions

None

Sampdoria Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Enzo Maresca (injured) In doubt: Nicola Pozzi, Maxi Lopez, Juan Antonio

Match Date/Time: Sunday 20th January 2013 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. E.T.

Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Siena, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 5 (Italy)

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