Sinisa Mihajlovic has taken over the reins at struggling Sampdoria. The now former coach of the Serbian national side took charge on Wednesday after Delio Rossi was sacked in the wake of a 2-1 defeat at Fiorentina a fortnight ago. The loss was the Blucerchiati's third in a row which leaves the club languishing third from bottom in Serie A. Two wins out of 12 games meant the writing was on the wall for Rossi, prompting the appointment of the outspoken and often colourful Serb - who's as infamous for his sublime free kicks on the pitch and his hard hitting opinions off it.
Mihajlovic has ties to both clubs, having served Samp as a player from 1994-98, before spending six seasons at Lazio. This will be Sinisa's fourth stint at managing in Serie A after spells at Bologna, Catania and Fiorentina. He was even mooted to be in the running to replace Vladimir Petkovic in the Biancocelesti hotseat, as the Bosnian's position remains under threat.
Lazio come into the game looking for a first win in four games, not to mention a first away victory of the season. The capital club currently lie in eighth place and to rub salt in the wounds have half the points tally of their table-topping city rivals AS Roma. Unlike last season, where the club enjoyed a stellar first half of the campaign to go second, thus far the results haven't been consistent for the Eagles. Injuries to key personnel and a lack of replacements has left Petkovic with a delicate balancing act as the club tries to compete in both Serie A and the Europa League.
Both sides have injury problems ahead of the game. Samp must do without Gaetano Berardi, Paolo Castellini, Bartosz Salamon, Matias Rodriguez, Antonino Barilla, Gianluca Sansone and the suspended Eder. As a result, Mihajlovic is set to gamble on Manolo Gabbiadini as the main frontman, with Davide Gavazzi and Pawel Wszolek providing the support. Lorenzo De Silvestri is in line to face his former club.
Veteran defenders Giuseppe Biava and Andre Dias definitely miss out for the visitors, while frontman Miroslav Klose is unlikely to be risked until he recovers fully from a shoulder injury suffered against Parma a fortnight ago. Michael Ciani returns from suspension, while Lucas Biglia, Senad Lulic and Abdoulay Konko all returned to training during the international break and are in contention. Ogenyi Onazi has shook off an ankle injury and is tipped to form a central midfield partnership with Cristian Ledesma. Keita Balde Diao netted his first Lazio goal in the 1-1 draw with Parma and is expected to keep his place in attack.
Lazio have won the last three league meetings between the two sides, with Sampdoria failing to score in each of those three games.
Sampdoria injuries and suspensions
Out: Gaetano Berardi, Paolo Castellini, Bartosz Salamon, Matias Rodriguez, Antonino Barilla, Gianluca Sansone (injured) Eder (suspended)
Lazio injuries and suspensions
Sampdoria: Da Costa; Mustafi, Palombo, Regini; De Silvestri, Obiang, Krsticic, Renan, Gavazzi; Wszolek; Gabbiadini
Lazio: Marchetti, Ciani, Cana, Radu, Konko, Onazi, Ledesma, Lulic, Candreva, Floccari, Keita
Match Date/Time: Sunday 24th November, 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET
Venue: Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy
TV: Sky Calcio 3, Premium Calcio 1 (Italy)
Online: Bet365, bwin Live