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

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

AC Milan will be looking to continue their strong end to the season when they travel to lowly Sampdoria on Wednesday evening.

Sixth-placed Milan have gone 10 games without defeat since returning to action last month, whereas Sampdoria have had a mixed time of things on the results front and are down in 15th.

Match preview

So good has the Rossoneri's form been post-lockdown that it was announced last week that boss Stefano Pioli will stay on beyond this summer.

Milan were expected to bring in Ralf Rangnick as part of a long-term restructuring, but Pioli has been rewarded for some impressive results.

Friday's 1-1 draw with Atalanta BC - Duvan Zapata cancelling out Hakan Calhanoglu's stunner in a game that did not live up to the hype - ended Milan's three-game winning streak.

Still, seven victories and three draws since the restart has transformed the Rossoneri's campaign, leaving them sixth in the table with games against Sampdoria and Cagliari to go.

Milan are already assured of a place in the Europa League second qualifying round next season and now seem unlikely to catch Roma, who are four points better off in fifth.

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli pictured in February 2020© Reuters

It is all about keeping the momentum going for Pioli's men, which is something Sampdoria had been building prior to back-to-back losses against Genoa and Juventus.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi were on target in that most recent outing for Samp on Sunday, which confirmed Juve as champions for a ninth year in a row.

Before those quickfire losses, the Blucerchiati beat Udinese, Cagliari and Parma - scoring three goals in each game - to ensure that relegation is not a possibility this term.

Sampdoria can still finish as high as ninth if they win their remaining games and other results go their way, but motivation may be an issue for Claudio Ranieri.

Ranieri deserves huge praise for the work he has done at Stadio Luigi Ferraris, pretty much under the radar, and Sampdoria may yet have one more big win up their sleeve.

Sampdoria's Serie A form: LWWWLL

AC Milan's Serie A form: WDWWWD

Team News

AC Milan full-back Theo Hernandez in Serie A action against Sampdoria in January 2020© Reuters

Pioli was forced to rotate his side against Atalanta owing to Theo Hernandez and Ismael Bennacer being suspended, and Alessio Romagnoli and Andrea Conti being injured.

The suspended pair are back in contention on Wednesday and should slot straight back into the side in place of Diego Laxalt and Lucas Biglia.

Milan's attacking players were a little off the pace against Atalanta, but Pioli is unlikely to make mass changes in that department - if any - for this midweek clash.

As for Sampdoria, Felice D'Amico and Albin Ekdal are their two confirmed injury absentees, suffering from foot and ankle injuries respectively.

Omar Colley and Ronaldo Vieira missed the Juventus game through suspension but are in line for recalls here.

Gaston Ramirez was given the nod over Manolo Gabbiadini at the weekend, but Ranieri may bring in the latter alongside Fabio Quagliarella for this one.

AC Milan's possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Gabbia, Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic

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

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We say: Sampdoria 0-1 AC Milan

The sides played out an uneventful goalless draw when they last met six months ago. Milan have improved massively since then and enter this match unbeaten in seven away matches - a run that we are backing them to extend with three more points on Wednesday.

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Juventus attacker Cristiano Ronaldo in action against Sassuolo in Serie A on July 15, 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States14171142
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia10141034
Great BritainGreat Britain79925
Today's Olympic highlights header

Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Pre-Season Friendlies
Olympic Games Men's Football
Scottish Premiership
Portuguese Super Cup
Taca da Liga
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League
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7Hellas VeronaHellas Verona00000000
8Inter Milan00000000
11AC Milan00000000

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