The Blucerchiati have had their fair share of ups and downs this season. However, Vincenzo Montella’s
men will be coming into this game having picked up a hard fought win over Udinese and will be hoping to build upon this at AC Milan’s expense. Meanwhile, the visitors are a side in flummox. Having lost their last match against Juventus, they now have a new man on the bench: Cristian Brocchi.
Brocchi, of course, will be well aware of what happened to the last man who was promoted from the Primavera to the senior squad and did not meet demanding President Silvio Berlusconi’s expectations. Filippo Inzaghi was promptly sacked last term after leaving the team in tenth to make way for Sinisa Mihajlovic, who, interestingly enough, is now out of a job despite guiding AC Milan into sixth as of round 32.
The Rossoneri are also in their first Coppa Italia final for 13 seasons. Still, that will not matter to Berlusconi unless if they actually beat Juventus. As such, this is a must for Brocchi considering the club’s owner expects to see the team back in Europe next season.
Although the former Primer Minister recently waxed about wanting “two Champions League finals in the next five years”, even the most ardent AC Milan fan had to chuckle sardonically about that. And considering the team’s embarrassing downfall over the past few seasons, even featuring in the Europa League will suffice for now.
First, they will have to beat Sampdoria, whilst picking up as many points from their remaining fixtures as possible. Sassuolo, now in their third season, have shown they are ready to take the step up to the next level and the plucky Neroverdi are eager to try their hand at European competition.
Any slip-up, then, for AC Milan could be costly. Naturally, Sampdoria, who at one point were just hovering about relegation, will be hoping to take advantage as they need just four more points to get to that magical number of 40.
Reports claim that Montella may have to make do without Antonio Cassano, but definitely Andrea Ranocchia will play no part due to suspension. For AC Milan, Brocchi will be without the services of M’Baye Niang and Christian Abbiati due to injury, but other from that, should have pretty much everyone available.
Interestingly, Sampdoria would be in the top half of the table based on points from home form. AC Milan, by contrast, would be in the bottom half. Nonetheless, they have beaten or drawn Samp in their past seven meetings across all competitions.
Will Sampdoria be able to overturn that bad record to heap more misery on them? Or will Brocchi’s first game in charge at the senior level result in a win?
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