It's the occasion of one of the fiercest rivalries in Europe to attract the spotlight, the Derby della Lanterna...
Lion In One's Own Backyard
Sampdoria's season has collapsed and from being a side who could have competed for a top-four place in Serie A they have been reduced to a team scrapping for mid-table respectability. Heading into today's Genoa derby, the Blucerchiati find themselves in 12th place with 30 points from 24 matches.
Today's Derby della Lanterna is the first of the 2010-11 season and was originally slated to be held in December but had to be postponed because of bad weather. However, the timing isn't bad for Samp, who defeated Bologna 3-1 on Sunday to garner their second victory in nine matches and put an end to a three-game losing streak.
Coach Domenico Di Carlo wants to build on the victory and establish themselves as the better club in Genoa and says, "After a difficult week, we got back on track. This win was important for the morale of the team and for the standings. Now we must build on this result.
"[Strikers] Massimo Maccarone and Jonathan Biabiany have started to find each other and this is a good sign. But we cannot think that all of our problems are solved. The derby is a crucial game for us and I expect to see a further improvement from my team.''
Winning The Derby
Genoa's 2010-11 campaign hasn't been that dissimilar from that of Sampdoria. Much was expected of the Grifoni at the start of the season but like Samp their ambitions have withered and they are now battling for a top-half finish.
At the moment Davide Ballardini's side are stationed a point and a place below Sampdoria and head into the encounter on the back of a disappointing goalless draw with bottom side Bari. It was the second successive draw for the Rossoblu, who have scored just once in their last three matches.
Coach Ballardini, though, believes that the derby will be much different from normal matches and says, "The derby is a different ball game altogether with respect to our match at Bari. We created many goalscoring chances against Bari but we lacked the finishing touch and we must improve in front of goal.''
Semioli and Pozzi are injured and are unavailable for tonight's fixture.
Boselli and Destro are injured for the Grifoni.