MX23RW : Friday, July 30 10:28:00| >> :60:837:837:
Jun 21, 2020 at 8.45pm UK at Giuseppe Meazza
Inter MilanInter Milan
Lukaku (10'), Martinez (33')
Martinez (48'), Valero (86'), Gagliardini (90')
FT(HT: 2-0)
Thorsby (53')
Bertolacci (22'), Thorsby (64'), Vieira (90+3')

Preview: Inter Milan vs. Sampdoria - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Sampdoria, including team news and predicted lineups.

Inter Milan will be looking for their first Serie A victory since February 9 when they resume their 2019-20 campaign at home to relegation-threatened Sampdoria on Sunday night.

The Italian giants lost to Napoli in the Coppa Italia semi-finals last weekend and will now switch their focus back to the league, where they currently sit third, nine points off leaders Juventus.

Match preview

Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez pictured in February 2020© Reuters

Inter's flying form in Serie A had seen them match Juve stride-for-stride for a long period, but Antonio Conte's side lost their last two league matches before the lockdown period.

Indeed, a 2-1 defeat at Lazio on February 16 was followed by a 2-0 loss at Juve, meaning that Inter are playing catch-up on the top two in Italy as they are also eight points off second-placed Lazio.

I Nerazzurri do have a game in hand over the two sides above them, though, and there is no question that they will be desperate to return to winning ways this weekend.

Inter were, of course, in Coppa Italia action last weekend, drawing 1-1 with Napoli in the second leg of their semi-final to lose 2-1 on aggregate, before Gennaro Gattuso's side went on to beat Juve in Wednesday's final.

The Black and Blues have been in strong form at San Siro this season, winning seven of their 12 Serie A matches, suffering just one defeat in the process. They have also won their last four five league fixtures against Sampdoria, including a 3-1 success in the reverse clash earlier this season.

Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri pictured in December 2019© Reuters

While Inter will be looking for all three points to boost their hopes of catching Juve and Lazio, Sampdoria need a positive result to enhance their chances of staying clear of the relegation zone. Indeed, I Blucerchiati are currently 16th in Italy's top flight, just a point ahead of 18th-placed Leece.

Sampdoria have not played outside of Serie A since the 2011-12 campaign, while they have finished 10th, 10th and ninth respectively in their last three seasons at this level.

It has been a struggle this term, though, and the fact that they have won two of their last three Serie A matches and are still in trouble is an indication of their problems.

Claudio Ranieri's side have enough time and enough quality to move clear of the drop zone, but a disappointing result this weekend would certainly leave them vulnerable to the teams below them.

Inter Serie A form: DDWWLL
Inter form (all competitions): LLWWLD

Sampdoria Serie A form: LDLWLW

Team News

Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez pictured in January 2020© Reuters

Inter have no confirmed absentees ahead of this weekend's contest, meaning that Conte has plenty of decisions to make when it comes to team selection, particularly in midfield and attack.

Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez are again expected to start as the front two with support from Christian Eriksen, although Alexis Sanchez is also likely to be in Conte's thinking for this game.

Stefano Sensi is also pushing for a spot in the middle of the park, but Marcelo Brozovic and Nico Barella are again expected to get the nod, with Ashley Young also keeping out Cristiano Biraghi at left wing-back.

As for Sampdoria, Alex Ferrari has been ruled out of the contest, while Ronaldo Vieira and Albin Ekdal will reportedly face late fitness tests to determine their level of involvement.

Morten Thorsby and Karol Linetty could both start if Vieira and Ekdal are unable to prove their fitness, but the bulk of the XI that started against Hellas Verona is expected to feature here.

Indeed, 37-year-old Fabio Quagliarella scored his eighth and ninth league goals of the season in his side's last league game and should again be joined by Manolo Gabbiadini in the final third of the field.

Inter possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Young, Brozovic, Barella, Candreva; Eriksen; Lukaku, Martinez

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Tonelli, Yoshida, Augello; Depaoli, Thorsby, Jankto, Linetty; Quagliarella, Gabbiadini

Sports Mole Logo

We say: Inter 2-0 Sampdoria

The fact that Inter played last weekend is likely to be an advantage for Conte's side, who will be looking to bounce back from successive league defeats before the lockdown period. Sampdoria are capable of harming the hosts in the final third, but we fancy the Milan giants to put an important three points on the board.

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Friday's key events

· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

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