Bologna vs Sampdoria Preview

Bologna coach Stefano Pioli has rejected suggestions he is happy to settle for mid-table obscurity ahead of Sunday's Serie A meeting with Sampdoria.

Stefano Pioli, Bologna Fc

The Rossoblu are 10 points clear of the bottom three and all but assured another season in the top flight, with Samp just one point behind in 13th place.

But Pioli is more interested in replicating last year's grandstand finish, which saw Bologna win four of their last seven games to finish ninth with 51 points.

He told La Repubblica: "I don't understand it when I hear that people expected to see a less determined Bologna at this stage, it should be normal for everyone to give their all right to the end.

"We are in a good position but there are still lots of games to play."

Defender Gyorgy Garics is suspended at the Renato Dall'Ara while midfielders Diego Perez and Panagiotis Kone face late fitness tests.

Revenge is an additional factor for goalkeeper Gianluca Curci.

The 27-year-old was Samp's number one for the 2010-11 campaign but he drew heavy criticism when the Blucerchiati were relegated.

Curci has now replaced Federico Agliardi as first choice at Bologna and he feels he has shown his quality by keeping five clean sheets.

He told the Corriere dello Sport: "For me the three points will be worth double because, apart from ensuring our survival, they will help me prove that their relegation two years ago wasn't just my fault.

"All the players and the club were to blame."

Sampdoria boss Delio Rossi is without suspended defenders Andrea Costa and Lorenzo De Silvestri while striker Eder joins Nenad Krsticic on the treatment table.

The Serbian midfielder suffered season-ending ligament damage in last weekend's Genoa derby.

Referring to Sunday's game, Rossi said: "Bologna are a well-balanced team. I'm talking about a pragmatic side. They are solid and never carefree.

"They never play all-or-nothing football and to get a result against them you have to produce a top-quality performance.

"I will decide the line-up the night before the game - I'm still missing the final piece.

"All I can say is that we won't change our game plan, we just need suitable cover for certain roles."

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