The international break is over, club football has returned and Milan are looking to bounce back from a heart breaking derby defeat. Traveling away to Sampdoria, this is a test of Milan’s fortitude. How will they respond to their first defeat of 2019?
Sampdoria are building off a massive 5-3 win over Sassuolo and hoping to ride that momentum towards a Europa League spot, being just three points outside of the competition.
Milan need to cement their position in the UCL slots as they are only four points in the safety zone. A slip up is allowed but this late in the season, that can spell disaster quickly.
Milan will see some changes to their starting XI this time out. Kessie and Paqueta will be benched from the start for some much needed rest. Kessie also, infamously had a row with Biglia during the derby and this is rumored to be punishment, but officially he was late to returning to Milan from the international break.
Samu Castillejo is expected to take the left wing role and Hakan Calhanoglu will dip into midfield to cover the resting Paqueta.
Likely Milan XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Bakayoko, Biglia, Calhanoglu; Suso, Piatek, Castillejo.
Sampdoria sit on 42 points in ninth place but a win over Milan this weekend would potentially skyrocket them up to sixth, jumping into a Europa league spot.
They have won three of their last five and are finding some good form in the process, this will be on walk in the park.
Sampdoria likely XI (4-3-1-2): Audero; Bereszynksi, Andersen, Colley, Murru; Praet, Ekdal, Linetty; Defrel; Quagliarella, Gabbiadini.
LAST TIME OUT
In their most recent meeting Milan won 2-0 in the Coppa Italia thanks to an extra time brace from Cutrone. Their last league match they also won but by a margin of 3-2. A team effort of Cutrone, Higuain, and Suso found the net while Quagliarella and Saponara scored for Samp.
This name is almost becoming synonymous with this section but Krysztof Piatek. The only man with more goals than him in the league currently is Fabio Quagliarella, the striker opposite him this weekend. Piatek will look to overlap him in his own backyard and take claim of the title of capocannoniere.
Prediction 2-1 Milan