The Rossoneri come into this game having lost 2-1 to Udinese on the road. The team’s form as of late will surely worry fans, as for a while it appeared that Milan were getting back on track after a rough past few years. Vincenzo Montella’s side at one point were looking good to secure a Champions League berth and things seemed to be on the up and up after they beat Juventus twice last year. The first, at the Stadio San Siro, marked the first time ex-coach Massimiliano Allegri lost to his former side since being sacked in January 2014. And the second was during December’s Supercoppa Italiana match, which marked Milan’s first taste of silverware in five years.
However, since the start of the New Year, things have not gone as planned. One worrying fact is the team’s tendency to concede first, and then try to stage a comeback. It may have worked – albeit barely – against Torino in the Coppa Italia, and again in the league to salvage a 2-2 draw. However, pitted against tougher opponents, that tactic will not work. And Milan found out the hard way in two back to back losses to Juventus and Napoli. In both games, they conceded two goals first. And in both games, they tried to claw their way back by scoring a goal, but it was not enough.
In their recent tie with Udinese, they appeared to have gotten things correct. Giacomo Bonaventura grabbed an early goal to help them take the lead inside the first ten minutes. However, Bonaventura went off injured, and Milan’s concentration levels again dropped to allow Udinese to equalize and then deservedly steal all three points. The Rossoneri only had themselves to blame and now it’s back to the drawing board as they welcome Sampdoria.
The Blucheriati have a lousy away record, with just one road victory so far. That was against Empoli on matchday one. And they have only won three of their last 20 Serie A meetings with Milan at the Stadio San Siro, whilst losing 14. Still, they will be fancying their chances at causing problems. Last weekend, they managed to shock Roma by beating them 3-2, courtesy of a brilliant free-kick from Luis Muriel. That win ended a seven game win-less streak across all competitions, and gave them a chance to get revenge on the Giallorossi for humiliating them 4-0 in the Coppa Italia.
Will Milan be able to get back on track? Or will Sampdoria, who were previously coached by Montella, be the next team to put another dent in their ambitions to secure European football next season?