Artemio Franchi, Italy

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Siena v Sampdoria: Preview

The threat of relegation is no longer an issue for Sampdoria, according to head coach Delio Rossi, who takes his much-improved side to Siena tomorrow.

Rossi has transformed 15th-placed Samp into an ambitious and hard-to-beat outfit since replacing Ciro Ferrara in December, with the Blucerchiati demonstrating their new-found confidence by claiming a creditable point from a goalless draw with AC Milan last time out.

Samp were perhaps unlucky not to claim a second big scalp after handing Juventus a 2-1 defeat in Turin in their previous outing, and Rossi is targeting greater things over the coming months.

He told reporters: ``Survive? Of course I believe we can survive. I didn't just come here to steal six months of wages.

``After last week's great performance in Turin we needed to prove ourselves against another big team. We matched Milan for 70 minutes and played a great game.

``This is a great Sampdoria side and the lads are all behind me and we can get even better. There's a great will to fight and to improve here.''

Nicola Pozzi, Maxi Lopez, Enzo Maresca and Juan Antonio are unlikely to feature due to injury, with Andrea Poli, Pedro Obiang and Eder struggling for fitness.

Giuseppe Iachini assumed control Siena in the same week that Rossi moved to the Marassi but the former Samp boss has endured a less than auspicious start at the Stadio Artemio Franchi.

Serse Cosmi's successor is searching for a first win at the expense of his old club, with Siena rock bottom of the league and on a run of six straight defeats.

The Bianconeri battled hard at Torino last weekend but were denied a share of the points as Alessandro Rosina missed a penalty against his former side in a 3-2 defeat.

Iachini said: ``The result hurts but I have seen a group that is improving.

``In the last two games we have put bigger opponents in difficulty and that's what we need to do in the coming weeks, knowing that we always have to play our best to win.

``I see a lot of room for improvement in this team.''

Iachini has an injury and suspension-free squad but recent history is against Siena, with Samp claiming all nine points from the last three meetings between the two sides.

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