Milan travel to Sampdoria looking to bounce back from their Derby della Madonnina defeat to Inter, as they aim to strengthen their grip on a Champions League spot at the Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris on Saturday.
Gennaro Gattuso's side were on a five game winning streak and boasted an unbeaten 2019 in the league before that narrow 3-2 loss, and they will have to be wary of a dangerous Sampdoria team who are in touching distance of the Europa League spots.
Inspired by Serie A's top scorer Fabio Quagliarella, the Genoa-based club are enjoying a good season under Marco Giampaolo and put five past Sassuolo last time out to stay three points behind sixth-placed Roma.
This clash is one to keep an eye on this weekend, with both clubs vying for European football next season and two opposing frontmen in Quagliarella and Krzysztof Piatek in red hot form.
Check out 90min's preview below.
Where to Watch
|When Is Kick Off?||Saturday 30 March|
|What Time Is Kick Off?||19:30 (GMT)|
|Where Is It Played?||Stadio Comunale Luigi Ferraris|
|TV Channel/Live Stream?||Eleven Sports|
With players returning from the international break, Sampdoria manager Giampaolo's worst injury fears have been realised with key duo Albin Ekdal and Ronaldo Vieira both doubts after sustaining knee injuries whilst away.
The club will assess the extent of their respective knee injuries, with Giampaolo hopeful they will both be fit. Former Middlesbrough attacking midfielder Gaston Ramirez is expected to return to the squad after being ruled out against Sassuolo with a knock.
Gattuso is the more fortunate of the two managers with no fresh injury concerns, and is back to full strength after naming Franck Kessie and Lucas Biglia in the squad despite the two players being fined for their recent confrontation against Inter.
|Sampdoria||Audero; Bereszynski, Andersen, Colley, Murru; Praet, Jankto, Linetty; Gabbiadini, Quagliarella, Defrel.|
|Milan||Donnarumma; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessie, Bakayoko, Paqueta; Suso, Piatek, Calhanoglu.|
Head to Head Record
Historically, the stats don't make good reading for Sampdoria fans with I Blucerchiati only winning seven and drawing six out of 29 matches in all competitions against Milan.
Their last meeting sent Sampdoria out of the Coppa Italia in January, with I Rossoneri winning 2-0 at the Luigi Ferraris, and Milan hold the bragging rights in the league after a highly competitive 3-2 win back in October.
Sampdoria go into Sunday's game seeking their first league win over Milan in almost two years, but will take heart from going close at San Siro and that their last victory in September 2017 came at home.
Like a fine wine, Quagliarella keeps getting better with age and his 21 goals in Serie A puts him above none other than Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo and has put his side right in the hunt for the Europa League. Giampaolo will be delighted the Italian returned injury-free from international duty, and the striker even became Italy's oldest goal scorer after netting against Liechtenstein.
Despite suffering three defeats in a row in February, Sampdoria look like they're starting to recapture the form they had during their six game unbeaten streak at the back end of 2018 and have managed three wins in their last five games.
Their most recent 5-3 win over Sassuolo will give them huge confidence going forward and captain Quagliarella will be hungry to score in the fifth game in a row.
As for Sunday's visitors, Milan will be shaken by their agonising defeat to bitter rivals Inter but were enjoying a purple patch prior to that after an unbeaten run throughout 2019 and five league wins on the bounce.
Despite that loss, they are still one of the most in-form sides in the league and have Piatek hot on Quagliarella's heels with 19 goals - with six in seven matches for Milan.
Here are the last five fixtures for both sides:
|Sassuolo 3-5 Sampdoria (16/3)||Milan 2-3 Inter (17/3)|
|Sampdoria 1-2 Atalanta (10/3)||Chievo 1-2 Milan (9/3)|
|SPAL 1-2 Sampdoria (3/3)||Milan 1-0 Sassuolo (2/3)|
|Sampdoria 1-0 Cagliari (24/2)||Milan 3-0 Empoli (22/2)|
|Inter 2-1 Sampdoria (17/2)||Atalanta 1-3 Milan (16/2)|
Given Milan's crushing derby defeat, Sampdoria will be looking to capitalise on that dip in confidence and have the home advantage.
On the flip side, with Gattuso in charge at I Rossoneri you can be sure he'll be drilling his players to avoid another defeat and has a full strength team to choose from.
This looks set to be a high-scoring affair with the firepower on show and it will likely boil down to who has the most resolute defence.