It’s not been the easiest week for Interisti as the news has been dominated by Mauro Icardi being stripped of the captain’s armband after taking himself out of Inter Milan’s lineup for its midweek Europa League clash with Rapid Wien.
News has surfaced today the Icardi family has paid for it after vandals threw a rock at his wife/agent Wanda Nara’s car Saturday.
Regardless, Icardi will be out of Sunday’s match with Sampdoria as the club confirmed he has suffered a knee injury.
”As the club wrote in a statement, Icardi has a problem. This prevents him from playing and he won’t be involved because he has a swelling,” Inter boss Luciano Spalletti said.
️ | #Spalletti: "As has been confirmed by the club, Icardi has an injury and he's currently not available. He's not been called up due to inflammation. We also have to wait a few more days for Keita." #InterSampdoria pic.twitter.com/HY6Dm8Bnal— Inter (@Inter_en) February 16, 2019
The Nerazzurri do have an opportunity to win four in a row against Sampdoria for the first time since 1985.
Inter Milan team news
In addition to Icardi not being on the match-day squad, Keita Balde is also not likely to feature Sunday as he is coming off injury.
It continues to set the table for Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez to continue to make a name for himself. Martinez scored the winner against Parma last weekend and connected with a penalty to push Inter to 1-0 win at Rapid Wien in the Nerazzurri’s midweek Europa League clash.
“We’ll have to see if Lautaro has the same ruthlessness that Mauro has shown,” Spalletti said, in is pre-match news conference. “It seems that he’s a player that possesses a strong and well-defined character.”
Defender Sime Vrsaljko continues to be off the roster after a season-ending knee injury. That opens the door for Southampton loanee Cedric Soares to earn a place in the starting XI. Milan Skriniar should be back following a one-match suspension and should join Stefan de Vrij and Kwadwo Asamoah on the backline.
While Martinez will get the start back up top for Inter, another question will be who comes in at midfield. Radja Nainggolan did show improvement against Rapid Wien, but can he go 90 minutes. I can see Spalletti giving that a try with Matias Vecino and Marcelo Brozovic – as Epic Brozo is back off suspension.
Projected lineup: Handanovic; Soares, Skriniar, De Vrij, Asamoah, Vecino, Brozovic, Politano, Perisic, Nainggolan; Martinez
Sampdoria team news
Sampdoria are currently ninth in Serie A, 10 points back of Inter.
They will be without Gianluca Caprari who is still nursing a fibula fracture he suffered at the end of last month. Edgar Barreto’s calf injury is also not fully healed and he is likely to miss Sunday as well.
But, despite having a potent offense, Sampdoria have gone through the same struggles as Inter as they have won just one match in 2019 – a 4-0 pasting of Udinese on Jan. 26. However, you can couple that with their recent defeat at home to Frosinone and a 3-0 thrashing at Napoli.
Fabio Quagliarella leads Sampdoria’s attack with 16 goals in 24 matches across all competitions. He went on a nine-match scoring streak – including braces against Fiorentina and Udinese -- but has been shutout in Sampdoria’s last two matches. He did not score the last time out against Inter.
While Sampdoria has scored 39 goals on the season, they have allowed 30.
Projected lineup: Audero; Bereszynski, Colley, Andersen, Tavares; Praet, Ekdal, Linetty Saponara; Quagliarella, Gabbiadini
Time and Date: 12 p.m. EST (17:00 local) Sunday, Feb. 17, 2019
Where: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (Milan)
How to watch: The match will be streamed on ESPN+ in the United States. If you are watching in the United Kingdom, you can view the match on Premier Sports 1 and Eleven Sports 2 UK. In Italy, the match will be viewable on Sky Calcio 1, Sky Go Italia and Sky Supercalcio HD.
Click here to see how you can watch the match from anywhere in the world.
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