Milan vs. Sampdoria Preview: Let the Games Begin!

Over half of our team was surgically removed, chaos reigned from the manager to the management, and our hearts were run over a train… again and again. Living without calcio each summer is always hard, but this was one to remember. Or forget… Anyway, tomorrow, the moment we’ve been waiting for… when our boys take the pitch to begin the 2012-13 Serie A campaign. So fire up whatever viewing device you have, make yourself comfortable and let the games begin!

Will he recover to seek his revenge?

First up, recently promoted Sampdoria. Sampdoria, you ask? Isn’t that where Maxi Lopez went? Why yes it is. But he is unlikely to feature against us due to a back problem. Which is lucky for us, because after the way he was treated, I’d expect him to score at least a hat trick on us. So let’s hope the extended Milan injury curse saves us from his wrath. But they are also without the suspended Nicola Pozzi, so Ciro Ferrara’s side will be stretched thin up front. But they’ve also got a solid defense, so even if they struggle to score, it is less likely that they will concede.

My guess is that we’ll see a Blucerchiati 4-3-3 consisting of Sergio Romero; De Silvestri, Gastaldello, Rossini, Costa; Soriano, Tissone, Poli; Estigarribia, Eder and Juan Antonio. And don’t be deceived by their recent promotion from Serie B, this is a tough little team, and they have been playing together for a lot longer than our boys. They even beat a Barcelona second team on Monday for a lovely trophy.

Will Ferrara transfer his U21 NT success over to Samp?

The Milan side of things seems like it would be scary, but if you think about it, the probable starting 11 is pretty familiar by now. With Ambrosini very unlikely due to an injury he’s recovering from, Montolivo will undoubtedly start in front of the defense. Abate’s knock should keep him out, too, so De Sciglio would be the perfect person to deputize for him.

I would guess that it would look something like Abbiati; De Sciglio, Zapata, Yepes, Antonini; Emanuelson, Montolivo, Nocerino; Boateng; Robinho and Pazzini. It’s hard to guess Allegri’s hand at this point. Mexes trained with the team yesterday, but Allegri is usually slow to put most players into the starting lineup. Will he feel that Pazzini is ready to start? I think we all hope so, but maybe he won’t. I’m going to venture to guess that if he doesn’t start, Allegri will switch to his 4-3-2-1 with Robinho as the lone striker up top and Urby and Boateng behind, maybe slotting in a player like Constant into the midfield. Who knows? At least we know he won’t be starting Zé Eduardo.

Will il Pazzo get his first start or debut on the bench?

In addition to so many new faces in the squad, they will be playing on the new San Siro pitch that we saw for the Trofeo Berlusconi. There will also be 6 referees for the first time in Serie A (the FIGC’s latest anti-Juve conspiracy,) so in theory, things should be more fair. I don’t have far reaching expectations, a draw might be a good result on this one, but of course I always want a Milan win.

The one thing that’s for sure is that after a football deprived summer, those magical red and black jerseys will be proudly worn by our boys as they step out onto the new pitch for a brand new season. There will be battle, 90 glorious minutes of battle, and at the end of it all, regardless of the outcome, I will probably still be longing for more. But for now, I want a victory. I want to see the pain of defeat in the enemy’s faces, let their tears water the new pitch… okay, I probably shouldn’t go without proper football for this long, it seems to incite the bloodlust a bit too much. Let’s just leave it at Forza Milan! Let the games begin!

This post inspired by the music of Prodigy

Milan vs. Sampdoria
Sunday, August 26th • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)
This match will only be broadcast on BeInSportUSA1 and RAI in the U.S.
Streams will be posted a couple of hours before the match

Milan vs. Sampdoria Preview: Let the Games Begin! Milan vs. Sampdoria Preview: Let the Games Begin! Reviewed by Elaine on 2:13 AM Rating: 5
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