MX23RW : Wednesday, January 6 12:33:45| >> :120:56767:56767:
Dec 6, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at Stadio Luigi Ferraris
AC MilanAC Milan
Ekdal (82')
Silva (26'), Jankto (45+2')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Kessie (45' pen.), Castillejo (77')
Kessie (5')

Preview: Sampdoria vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Sampdoria and AC Milan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

League leaders AC Milan travel to Genoa on Sunday to face a Sampdoria side which faltered badly last month following a particularly productive October.

Stefano Pioli's team have barely relented in Serie A - despite their coach being quarantined - to give them a five-point advantage over a tightly-bunched chasing pack, while Samp have now slumped into the bottom half of the table.

Match preview

Sampdoria's Fabio Quagliarella in action in September 2019© Reuters

After winning all three games played in October, Sampdoria collected just two points in four league matches during the course of November. Claudio Ranieri's men have settled into a mid-table slot following two draws and two defeats either side of the international break.

Last week against Torino, the Blucerchiati forged a spirited comeback - reversing the Granata's opening goal advantage with strikes from experienced campaigners Antonio Candreva and Fabio Quagliarella, only to be hauled back to 2-2 in the final reckoning.

That came after a Coppa Italia exit to city rivals Genoa - a game which they led until the hour mark but ultimately slumped to a 3-1 defeat in their second Derby della Lanterna clash of the month.

Nonetheless, Sampdoria have scored in each of their last 12 Serie A home matches and the last time they enjoyed a longer such streak was a decade ago - in September 2010.

Though the goals have somewhat dried up for their most reliable outlet Quagliarella in recent games, Samp have managed to draw upon a healthy tally from midfield and out wide - with Morten Thorsby and Tommaso Augello proving their prowess of late.

In fact, Milan are the side former Azzurri striker Quagliarella has faced the most times in home league fixtures - a total of 14 games - without ever finding the net. Certainly, that is a rare blip on the evergreen marksman's record which he will be incredibly keen to put right this weekend.

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli pictured on November 8, 2020© Reuters

The opposition, too, are in record-breaking mood and the latest in the sights of Stefano Pioli's remarkable young side is for scoring in consecutive Serie A games. The Rossoneri equalled the previous such streak of 29 - established between 1972 and 1973 - in their win over Fiorentina last week.

As if that were not enough, Milan have now won their last six away league games and they have only surpassed that total twice before in their illustrious history - with Fabio Capello's 1993 wonder team (nine) and in 1964 under club legend Nils Liedholm (seven).

They have been reliant on Zlatan Ibrahimovic for both goals and inspiration during that run, but have also proven that they can hit the net without him during spells of injury and illness this season.

Since the restart of top-flight football last May, Pioli's Milan are one of the two sides alongside Manchester City with five players to have scored at least five goals in the major European leagues - Ibrahimovic (with 17), Franck Kessie, Hakan Calhanoglu, Rafael Leao (all with six) and Ibra's current stand-in Ante Rebic, who has five.

A midweek comeback victory against familiar European foes Celtic has maintained momentum - with Europa League progress already assured - and proved once more that Milan's youthful 'shadow side' can deliver the goods when first-team regulars are resting or injured.

When they meet Sampdoria this Sunday, the home side will take to the pitch in a special blue and white quartered shirt designed to celebrate the 120th anniversary of Andrea Doria merging with local club Sampierdarenese to create the famous Sampdoria name.

A special occasion may be be dampened by a less-than-special result however, as only if Milan finally step off the gas pedal can Samp hope to match their relentless drive over 90 minutes.

Sampdoria Serie A form: WWDLLD
Sampdoria form (all competitions): WDLLLD

AC Milan Serie A form: WDWDWW
AC Milan form (all competitions): LDWDWW

Team News

Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri pictured in October 2020© Reuters

Sampdoria prepare for Milan's visit in the absence of striker Keita Balde and Norwegian starlet Kristoffer Askildsen, both still recovering from injury.

Claudio Ranieri's XI will, however, be boosted by Omar Colley's return to the defence, after missing the trip to Turin due to illness. The Gambia international should partner former Southampton man Maya Yoshida in the centre of the Blucerchiati back four in a 4-4-2 formation.

For Milan, the hardworking Ante Rebic is poised to fill in as a central striker once again, though it will be more of a collective effort to mitigate the continued absence of injured Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Fellow forward Rafael Leao is also unavailable and has now been joined in the treatment room by experienced centre-back Simon Kjaer. The Danish defender limped off after just 10 minutes against Celtic and will be replaced by Matteo Gabbia.

Jens Petter Hauge has put himself into contention for a start with sterling Europa League showings, though will have to compete with Samu Castillejo - who returned in midweek - and Brahim Diaz for a place in Stefano Pioli's XI.

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Tonelli, Augello; Candreva, Thorsby, Ekdal, Jankto; Ramirez, Quagliarella

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Calabria, Gabbia, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Diaz; Rebic

SM words green background

We say: Sampdoria 1-2 AC Milan

Milan have successfully improvised to find a way of covering for absences in attack and can continue their scoring run at the Marassi this Sunday.

Though a handful of individuals have shone for Samp, their season has begun to revert to type. Unfortunately, the visitors on their 120th birthday will not be generous guests and are set to extend their stay at the Serie A summit.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:curl


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