Juventus vs Sampdoria, Preview: Rossi hopes to give table toppers the Blues

Gabriele Maltinti

Life’s never easy at the bottom of the table.

If Delio Rossi thought facing former club Lazio was a tough baptism of fire, a trip to the Juventus Stadium likely won't make his second game in charge of struggling Sampdoria any easier. The Bianconeri went into the Christmas break top of the pile and on a four game winning streak en route to racking up a record 94 calendar year points haul.

Never one to shy away from a fight - just ask Adem Ljajic, a bullish Rossi is relishing the game.

"I'm not a technician who likes to match up with the opponent's formation," he told a press conference.

"They are a very strong side, but we believe we can win. We will not focus purely on Andrea Pirlo - he is a special player, but there are others who can cause us problems."

Samp have lost their last three matches and travel without a host of key players. Maxi Lopez is still not fit following knee surgery and Enzo Maresca also misses out against his former club. Injury to first choice shotstopper Sergio Romero means the gloves are passed to Tommaso Berni.

Angelo Palombo is set to be brought in from the cold to start in midfield after being frozen out for the entire first half of the season, following a dispute with former boss Ciro Ferrara.

African Nations Cup duty rules out Kwadwo Asamoah for Juventus, who are also without long-term injury victims Giorgio Chiellini, Simone Pepe and Nicklas Bendtner. Mirko Vucinic is hampered by an ankle problem and could also miss out.

Alessandro Matri's brace against former club Cagliari last time out could see him win a starting place alongside Sebastian Giovinco. New loan signing Federico Peluso is tipped to begin his Turin tenure from the bench.

The last two meetings in Turin have both been exciting games and each produced six goals. The sides shared a 3-3 draw back in September 2010, while Juventus thrashed Sampdoria 5-1 eleven months earlier.

Despite only winning twice away from home so far this season, Sampdoria are more than capable of springing a surprise. They've already upset Milan at the San Siro and been one of only two clubs to leave Fiorentina with a point, with the other team being Juventus.

Juventus injuries and suspensions

Out: Giorgio Chiellini, Simone Pepe, Nicklas Bendtner (injured) Stephan Lichtsteiner (suspended) In doubt: Mirko Vucinic

Sampdoria injuries and suspensions

Out: Sergio Romero, Enzo Maresca, Maxi Lopez (injured) Roberto Soriano (suspended)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 6th January 2013 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET

Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy

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

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