Match Time: Saturday 2:30 P.M. Eastern US, 8:30 P.M (Italy time). GMT + 1
Match Location: Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genova, Italy.
It’s serie A time rossoneri! Our beloved Milan, after the derby bitterness will try to raise the morale against Sampdoria, in a key match for the 29th fixture of Serie A. Sampdoria with three victories in four Serie A matches (3 wins, 1 defeat) kept them within the reach of European positions, although they will have to thank the fact that they have the fifth best attack from the Serie A (49 goals).
On the other side Sampdoria beat only once Milan in the last seven occasions played in Serie A(1 win, 3 draws, 3 defeats). The 3-2 defeat of Milan against Inter in the last game stopped a sequence of five consecutive victories in SA, but that remains the only defeat of Milan in the top flight from Christmas onwards (7 wins, 3 draws , 1 defeat).
In addition, Milan are unbeaten in eight away games (4 wins, 4 draws) and can boast the second best defense away from the league (11 goals conceded), with only one team scoring more than one goal against the Rossoneri away this championship season. In fact, only three teams have scored more than one goal against Milan in their last 20 league games, but one of them was Sampdoria.
However, Rino Gattuso spoke in the prematch conference:
- Abouth the match: “We need a great performance to take home a win. It is imperality that we have the right mentality and awareness to face Sampdoria who gave us a tough time both in the Coppa Italia and in the championship. They are also trained by a great coach.”
- Advise and objective: “Now we have to keep our calm and not complicate things. We have the right motivation.We are in first place as per our version of the Scudetto. Qualifying for the Champions League is our Scudetto. Right now we have ten games ahead of us and we are playing for our Scudetto.”
- The squad he sees and what expects: “The boys know what is at stake, I want to see the usual AC Milan that does not leave anything to chance, a team that knows what to do on the pitch. I want to see the team of recent months even though less eccentric but with the necessary determination.”
Further, Milan will play with the 4-3-3 formation. This time Kessié will be benched because of the brawl with Biglia during the derby, on his place will play Bakayoko alongside Biglia in the midfield, also Rino tested out Çalhanoglu in midfield with Castillejo on the left wing with Kessié and Paquetà on the bench for the game against Sampdoria. For the rest, the usual starters will play.
Meanwhile, Sampdoria it’s a team that can put you in difficulty, their defenders Colley and Andersen are having good performances so our gunslinger will have work to do to score. Also, Milan will have to keep an eye on Fabio Quagliarella , the oldest scorer of the Italian national team and the current top scorer with 21 goals, he scored in his career (in the various teams he played) only two goals against Milan in 22 occasions in SA.
In conclusion, it’s time to put aside the derby defeat and the recent problems with players, it’s hard to digest but we need a victory to keep our Champions League spot objective closer. We must respect our opponent, play focused in order to win this match. Our guys can do it. Forza Ragazzi!