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Milan-Sampdoria Preview: All Hands On Deck

Tomorrow we welcome the sixth place Sampdoria to the San Siro. They are three points ahead of us on the table, which means this game really means a lot, especially in the challenge for a European spot. With Milan playing like they are literally  possessed with grinta, we actually have a good chance of taking three points from the Blucerchiati, especially since we are playing at home. But it will take all of our focus and willpower, and maybe a little luck. All hands on deck.

Age is just a number, and in this case, it's 17 goals

The big threat for the Milan defense is a 35 year old. That’s right, Serie A veteran Fabio Quagliarella has 17 goals in Serie A this year, which I believe is his best tally in a single season yet. He scored a penalty in Samp’s 2-0 defeat of Verona last week. In that match, Giampaolo lined up: Viviano; Ferrari, Silvestre, Murru, Bereszynski, Duvan Zapata, Torreira, Caprari, Linetty, Barreto, and Quagliarella. It appears that they will only be missing the young Praet to injury for this match.

Milan have the longterm wait for Conti’s return still, as well as the nursing home absence of Storari. Sadly for legions of disappointed fans who populate social media, Kalinic will not be available yet again to injury. But a very worrisome absence will be Kessie, who is suspended for this match. Gattuso thinks that Montolivo or Locatelli can replace him, but he obviously did not watch Milan last season, before Kessie. We have no replacement for him. So it will be up to the rest of the team to play with consistency and give a bit extra to compensate.

Hoping it doesn't come to this

It’s hard not to worry, especially with the past six years of Milan fanship. But at the same time, there is this thing called optimism that seems to be taking hold and growing in our hearts as the team emulates the grinta of their coach. Even with the prospect of facing a team just above us that has been playing above the level of their talent, it just feels like we might be able to take three points from them if we can keep that belief going and not make too many mistakes. And maybe some luck, we can always use that. But belief and hard work are becoming the hallmark of this team, so all hands on deck!

This post inspired by the music of Irish Rovers’ “Drunken Sailor”

Serie A Week 25
Milan vs. Sampdoria
Sunday, February 18 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)

This match will be shown on RAI Italia in the U.S.