Despite conceding two early goals, Milan managed to get themselves back in the game and eventually beat Celtic by fours goals to two. In other words, they continued their positive run although the lapse of concentration could have cost them so much more, which is something they don’t want to repeat.
The Rossoneri’s schedule is very tight and with this in mind, claiming all three points is of course the important thing. On the other hand, they don’t want to make Thursday’s events a habit as the team certainly is capable enough to avoid it, which ultimately was proved by the final scoreline.
On Sunday evening, Milan will face Sampdoria away from home and although they are currently safe at the top, they will be looking to extend their lead. Sampdoria haven’t been great at the start of this season and there’s no doubt that Stefano Pioli’s men are the favourites, although they have a few tough injuries to deal with.
In addition to Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Rafael Leao, the manager will also have to do without Simon Kjaer. The Dane suffered an injury against Celtic and could (worst case) be out for the rest of the year, per the most recent reports. Having started the previous 26 games, it’s certainly a blow for the player and Milan.
Matteo Gabbia will replace the veteran at the back, pairing up with captain Alessio Romagnoli. Hernandez will play from the first minute once again despite not getting rested last time out which, considering how it went for Kjaer, could be a bit risky. His physique, on the other hand, seems to be very good.
Contrary to previous reports, Sky Italia are claiming that Sandro Tonali will play from the first minute. Ismael Bennacer hasn’t fully recovered from his muscle injury and the Italian has done well lately, starting two of the last three games. Franck Kessie will be his partner in the midfield tandem.
Alexis Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz and Hakan Calhanoglu are expected to form the trio behind Ante Rebic. The Croatian will be surely looking to get on the scoresheet as, truth be told, he has struggled a bit in that role and a goal would help his confidence.
Probable Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Calabria, Gabbia, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessie, Tonali (Bennacer); Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Diaz (Hauge); Rebic.
- Sampdoria have lost 64 Serie A matches against AC Milan, only against Inter (69) have they suffered more defeats in the top flight.
- In case of a goal, AC Milan will set their new record of scoring in consecutive Serie A games (30); in fact, the Rossoneri equalled the previous such streak established between 1972 and 1973 (29) in the last matchday against Fiorentina.
- AC Milan have scored the most goals from set-pieces in Serie A current season (seven); while Sampdoria have conceded the joint-most goals from set-pieces (seven, alongside Spezia).
- AC Milan are the side Sampdoria’s Fabio Quagliarella has faced the most times in home Serie A games (14) without ever finding the net.
- AC Milan are unbeaten in their 17 Serie A games where Franck Kessié has found the net (W15 D2) – the Ivorian midfielder has scored 19 league goals with the Rossoneri so far.
There’s no doubt that Milan are the clear favourites to win this game, currently twelve points ahead of Sampdoria in the standings. That being said, the Rossoneri will have to be concentrated from the first minute this time out, unlike the games against Hellas Verona and Celtic in both of which they conceded two early goals.
Should they get things right, then it shouldn’t really be too much of a competition as Milan’s squad is levels above Sampdoria’s. It may sound very confident, which you could argue is justified, but that is what the numbers show.
Sampdoria 1-3 AC Milan
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