Sampdoria boss Sinisa Mihajlovic says he and his men are eyeing a significant scalp when runaway league leaders Juventus visit the Stadio Luigi Ferraris on Saturday evening.
Despite approaching the encounter on the back of three draws and two defeats, the Serbian believes his fifth-placed outfit have it in them to beat a Bianconeri side only needing a point to secure a fourth consecutive Serie A title.
And with an unbeaten run on home soil to protect, Mihajlovic is calling on the Blucerchiati to produce a big-match performance similar to the one which saw them register a 1-1 draw at Juventus Stadium back in December.
Speaking to Samp TV, the 46-year-old began: “Juventus deserve the Scudetto but they can celebrate winning it in Turin and not on our own patch. While they only need a point, we’re out to get all three.
“Surprise of the season? I’d say Samp, not Juve. We’re fifth in the standings with five games remaining and are enjoying a great campaign.
“I don’t expect Juve to be distracted. In the last four years, they’ve both strengthened and improved their mentality. We must put in a good performance for the most important game of the season, our position, morale and the type of opponent we’re facing."
The goals have somewhat dried up in recent weeks for Sampdoria, who have only struck four in their previous five outings, with half of those coming in a 4-2 reverse at the hands of Napoli.
While Mihajlovic was quick to acknowledge this statistic, the tactician ended proceedings by stating that the importance of the “best striker in the club’s history” - the Blucerchiati faithful - could spur his side on to come away from tomorrow’s match with a win.
He concluded: “It’s true that in this period we’ve struggled up front but against Juventus I’m ready to play the best striker in the club’s history: Sampdoria’s supporters.
“I want them to become our 12th man on the pitch. I’m convinced that with determination, character, and also that slice of good fortune which has been lacking recently, we’ll all be able to postpone their title party.”