MX23RW : Wednesday, June 23 19:13:44| >> :120:31204:31204:
May 8, 2021 at 5pm UK at San Siro
Inter MilanInter Milan
5-1
SampdoriaSampdoria
Gagliardini (4'), Sanchez (26', 36'), Pinamonti (61'), Martinez (70' pen.)
FT(HT: 3-1)
Balde (35')
Tonelli (31'), Silva (68')

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

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Sampdoria, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Champions Inter Milan will take a brief break from celebrating their first Scudetto in over a decade, as they welcome Sampdoria to San Siro on Saturday.

After jubilant scenes in Italy's second city, the Nerazzurri return to Stadio Giuseppe Meazza looking to extend their formidable unbeaten run in Serie A, while mid-table Samp seek a rare league double over their Milanese counterparts.


Match preview

Inter Milan's Achraf Hakimi celebrates scoring against Crotone in Serie A on May 1, 2021© Reuters

With four games still remaining, Inter went 13 points clear at the top of the table last weekend, matching their tally for the whole of last season - when they finished a point behind now-deposed champions Juventus - and putting the final seal on their first championship triumph since the spectacularly successful Jose Mourinho era.

Current coach Antonio Conte has been the highly-strung architect behind ending the Nerazzurri's 11-year title drought, meanwhile drawing a close to a run of nine successive Scudetti for old rivals Juventus - three of which were overseen by Conte when he was in charge in Turin.

The former national team boss earned his fourth Italian title - only five other coaches in Serie A history have managed four or more - primarily by fielding the tightest defence in the league this term, having conceded only 29 goals in 34 matches to date.

Even with a tally of 14 clean sheets also marking his side out as the most intensely focused and rigorously disciplined throughout Calcio, at the other end, the offensive contributions of one man in particular will not be overlooked by his kindred spirit in the dugout.

Top scorer and attacking fulcrum Romelu Lukaku has become the first Serie A striker since the 2004-05 season to register 20 goals and 10 assists in a single campaign, forging a fruitful partnership with Lautaro Martinez in the Inter front line. Though he was not on the scoresheet last time out, the 22-goal Belgium centre-forward played his part in a 2-0 success against Serie B-bound Crotone - a result which, when combined with Atalanta's failure to win a day later, ultimately sealed the club's 19th Scudetto.

Now unbeaten in 18 league games - their longest such streak in a single season since 2008 - Inter have swept clear of the chasing pack since the turn of the year and, having clinched glory by the first weekend in May, can now close in on a potential 94-point total by gaining revenge on Sampdoria - the last team to beat them in the league.

Sampdoria manager Claudio Ranieri pictured on January 30, 2021© Reuters

Now with 45 points accrued after last Sunday's success against fast-fading Roma, ninth-placed Sampdoria have already overtaken their tally from the entire 2019-20 campaign.

In recent weeks, the Blucerchiati have blossomed - pushing into the top half of the table courtesy of a run of three wins out of four - and are currently six points clear of Udinese, in 11th, coming into the weekend.

Claudio Ranieri's men were good value for their 2-0 win over the struggling Giallorossi last time out, as they enjoyed more of the ball and more shots on goal than their supposed superiors at Marassi. Unsung goalkeeper Emil Audero kept out an Edin Dzeko penalty, while midfielders Adrien Silva and Jakub Jankto found the net for Samp, as they took a step closer to the club's stated target of 52 points for the season.

This week, the Ligurian outfit face freshly-crowned champions Inter in the knowledge that not only have they scored in each of their last five encounters with the Nerazzurri at San Siro, but they were also the last league conquerors of Conte's side. Undoubtedly, a repeat of January's 2-1 home win would prove the ideal way for Ranieri and company to spoil the hosts' raucous title party.

Inter Milan Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • D
  • W
  • W

Sampdoria Serie A form:
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W



Team News

Christian Eriksen in action for Inter on December 13, 2020© Reuters

As Inter have few injury concerns ahead of Saturday's game, their starting XI could remain relatively unchanged, with Antonio Conte unlikely to take his foot off the gas in the final four games.

Only veteran pair Aleksandar Kolarov (thigh) and Arturo Vidal - who is still struggling to return to full fitness after knee surgery - are set to be sidelined again.

Italy midfielder Stefano Sensi was offered a rare opportunity to start last weekend, but Christian Eriksen will prove a strong contender for his berth in the Nerazzurri engine room. Meanwhile, out wide, in-form Matteo Darmian is again expected to feature on the left flank, as both Ashley Young and Ivan Perisic vie for the former Torino man's place.

The visitors saw Fabio Quagliarella return from a thigh problem last Sunday - though he remained on the bench throughout - so Sampdoria's top scorer should be ready to start this time, with Valerio Verre expected to drop out of the side.

Fellow forwards Gaston Ramirez and Ernesto Torregrossa also overcame injuries last week, so could feature at some stage, but Manolo Gabbiadini is expected to support Quagliarella up front for the Blucerchiati - with Keita Balde waiting in the wings against his former club.

Antonio Candreva is another ex-Inter man and will hope to unseat young Mikkel Damsgaard from his place on Samp's right flank after shaking off a recent foot injury.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Eriksen, Darmian; Martinez, Lukaku

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Colley, Augello; Candreva, Thorsby, Silva, Jankto; Quagliarella, Gabbiadini


SM words green background

We say: Inter Milan 1-1 Sampdoria

With neither side having a desperate need for points, a potentially relaxed feel to this encounter could lead to a somewhat surprise result - as Sampdoria can go undefeated against Inter this season with a draw.

The new champions have celebrated hard in recent days, so may concentrate more on savouring the Scudetto than extending their Serie A margin of victory.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:data


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How you voted: Inter Milan vs Sampdoria

Inter Milan
76.9%
Draw
15.4%
Sampdoria
7.7%
52
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6 38215126155668
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12 381011175165-1441
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14 381010184258-1640
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17 38716155069-1937
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