Milan take on Sampdoria at San Siro on Sunday, hoping to get back to winning ways following two consecutive defeats.
The Rossoneri were previously on an eight-match unbeaten run in all competitions, but have struggled after two defeats in the space of a week – in the Derby della Madonnina to Inter and against Real Betis in the Europa League.
Gennaro Gattuso’s men currently sit 12th in Serie A, but a victory against the Genoa outfit could potentially see them move into the top six of the table.
Meanwhile, Samp, who are unbeaten in four games and sit in fifth, know three points at the San Siro could see them leapfrog fourth-placed Lazio, who host Inter on Monday.
Sampdoria 2-2 Milan (November 2014)
In the reverse fixture, almost four years ago, former Genoa forward Stephan El Shaarawy (now at Roma) made his return to the
Gonzalo Higuaín vs Emil Audero
Higuaín has been impressive since joining Milan on-loan from Juventus in the summer. He has been involved in five goals in six league appearance (scoring four) and has two goals in three Europa League appearances. He has failed to score in each of his last two matches in all competitions, however, and his small barren spell seems to have taken a toll on the Argentine, who cut a frustrated figure against Betis in midweek.
He’ll be hoping to break the duck against Samp on Sunday.
Sampdoria have the best defensive record in Serie A, with just four goals conceding all season. Audero has played a pivotal part in that run, keeping five cleans in nine league appearances and one in their Coppa Italia fixture against third tier side Viterbese. He hasn’t conceded in his last two consecutive matches and will need another inspiring performance to maintain that run against a Milan side with the scoring likes of Higuaín and Patrick Cutrone.
Grégoire Defrel vs Mateo Musacchio
Defrel has been in terrific form since joining Samp on-loan from Roma. He didn’t get much game time last season for the Giallorossi and seems eager to prove a point. He already has five goals in nine league appearances this season and seems to have developed a great strike-partnership with Fabio Quagliarella (who has been involved in six league goals in nine appearances), and the pair may pose a real threat against the Milan defence.
Cristián Zapata hasn’t made many starts for Milan this season and had a torrid time against Real Betis in midweek. He is set to make way for Musacchio, who has played every single minute of the Rossoneri’s league campaign this season. He is an experienced defender with several great attributes such as recovery challenges and positioning, but even he couldn’t deal with the movement of Mauro Icardi in the derby last weekend. It looks like he’ll be in for another difficult contest against the pacy Defrel and co.
Gattuso mentioned that he may need to make some alterations after their defeat to Real Betis in midweek, which could include Suso and
Milan need a result to ease the pressure on their under-fire manager Gattuso but need to start dominating matches. I
Meanwhile, the Blucerchiati have a great defensive record this season and they will be hoping to continue that against Milan. The front-line of Quagliarella and Defrel will cause several problems, especially with the creativity of Gastón Ramírez just behind the front two and could nick a result.
Predicted Scoreline: Milan 1 Sampdoria 2