Skip to main content

Coppa Italia • Sampdoria-Milan Preview: The Fabio Factor



Sampdoria have a striker who is nearly 36 years old and is having the season of his career. Fabio Quagliarella has twelve goals and five assists, including a goal and an assist against Milan in October. He recently tied Trezeguet’s record, set in 2005, of scoring in nine consecutive Serie A matches. The press has even linked him with Milan, should Higuain leave. And while that might be a little far-fetched, no one can deny the potential in this match of the Fabio factor.

Undeniably unstoppable

Even if Quagliarella doesn’t play in this match, Giampaolo has plenty of other players capable of hurting us. Including former Milan player and outcast, Saponara, who had the other goal and assist against us in October. Before the break, they lost 2-1 to Juventus in a VAR-contentious match. For that game, Giampaolo lined up Audero; Sala, Ferrari, Colley, Murru; Praet, Ekdal, Linetty; Ramirez; Quagliarella, and Caprari. He will be missing Bereszynski and Barreto to injury.

Gattuso has a lot of off-the-pitch distractions this week, as first he apparently blocked a deal for Calhanoglu to go to Leipzig, which did not make his ex-teammate traitor pirate current sporting director very happy. That same person then criticized Higuain heavily in the media, stirring up controversy that had just settled down after he broke his non-scoring streak against SPAL. Clearly, it was an attempt to shove him out, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was also his way of getting back at Gattuso. Because that’s the kind of person he is. I’m going to assume that perhaps more than once this week, Gattuso reflected on better times, when he took off his shorts and jumped into the stands to sing about Leonardo with the Curva after we won our last Scudetto.

Those were the good old days... when a man could say what he really thought

More than likely, though, he is simply focused on getting the best out of his squad. We saw the addition of Paqueta this week, Leonardo’s little darling. Calabria is suspended, leaving speculation that Conti could get his first start, but that will entirely be up to Gattuso. Our injury list includes Caldara, Biglia, Bonaventura, and newly added Suso. The backup keeper that earns more than most starters, Reina, will undoubtedly start, as is tradition in the Coppa Italia.

Most people really don’t care about the Coppa Italia. But you know that Gattuso would want to win against all odds. Besides, at this point, it’s win or go home. However we face a formidable foe, at the Marassi no less, and a coach who is definitely more experienced and a better tactician than our own Mr. Grinta. And that is without even figuring in the Fabio factor.


This post inspired by the music of Gattuso’s singing in 2011


Coppa Italia Round of 16
Sampdoria vs. Milan
Saturday, January 12 • 18:00 CET (12noon EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.