Sampdoria-Milan Preview: To the Marassi

Milan are still undefeated in Serie A, top of the table, but anything can happen in 90 minutes of football. We also have three important players out with injuries, and tired legs from playing on Thursday. Fans and players and even Maldini are daring to talk about the Scudetto this year, but the season is young and it must be won three points at a time. Even without fans, the Marassi is a stadium that is imposing and intimidating to traveling teams. So Milan head, confident but focused, to the Marassi.

Hardworking but humble

Sampdoria sit in 11th place on the table, with only three wins thus far in the season. However, those wins came against Fiorentina, Lazio, and Atalanta. After losing the Derby della Lanterna to 19th place rivals Genoa two weeks ago, Ranieri's side managed a 2-2 draw with Torino last week. That apparently was enough to get him a contract extension this week, perhaps because Massimo Ferrero appreciated that Ranieri was not Giampaolo? Or maybe Ferrero had a dream that Ranieri repeated his Cinderella win of the Premier League with Leicester City with Sampdoria sometime in the future? Who knows?

For that draw, Ranieri, aka the Tinkerman, lined up Audero; Bereszynski, Ferrari, Yoshida, Augelio; Candreva, Thorsby, Ekdal, Jankto; Verre; and Quagliarella. Not only does Ranieri have his 37 year-old talisman back from injury in Quagliarella, but he's only missing one player to injury right now, forward Keita Balde. Plus, his players are fresh, having not played midweek.

"I won the Premier League with Leicester City, but I'm not a miracle worker"

Pioli is finally back, having been out 18 days and three matches due to COVID-19. We saw the difference he made on Thursday by providing strength for this young team to come back from a disastrous start. He is still missing Ibrahimovic and Leao to injury, and now the Viking in our defense, Kjaer. However, in a team brimming with talent and confidence, he has plenty of options to field in this match. 

Make no mistake, Milan will be playing to win. The players have said repeatedly that they want to win every match. Despite smashing records everywhere, they are staying humble and working hard to face each challenge, game by game. Every match has its own unique challenges, and facing a side with such an experienced coach and also captain in such an imposing stadium will be the challenge this time. To the Marassi.

This post inspired by the music of Muse's "Butterflies and Hurricanes"

Serie A Week 10
Sampdoria vs. Milan
Sunday, December 6 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S. 

Sampdoria-Milan Preview: To the Marassi Sampdoria-Milan Preview: To the Marassi Reviewed by Elaine on 1:45 PM Rating: 5
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