Claudio Ranieri is confident Sampdoria will get a result against Bologna, even though half of their usual back four is missing.
It kicks off on Sunday at 14.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“We will try to pick up as many points as possible in the eight games leading up to the Christmas break,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.
“I expect to see the usual Bologna approach, aggressive and compact, ready to go immediately on the counter and make the most of their strikers in one-on-one situations.
“We must do well to play our own game.”
Manolo Gabbiadini is back on the bench after a lengthy injury absence, while Keita Balde Diao is still out of action.
More importantly, changes are forced in defence by bans to both Tommaso Augello and Lorenzo Tonelli.
“I am convinced that both Omar Colley and Vasco Regini will do very well stepping in,” assured Ranieri.
There is the risk of distraction from the Coppa Italia, as next Thursday Samp go head-to-head with arch rivals Genoa.
“I realise the fans are thinking of the derby already, we all care about it, but there’s a Serie A match to play first."