Fresh off a 2-0 victory over Ludogorets, Inter Milan return to Italy and host relegation fighters Sampdoria at the San Siro. The previous meeting between these two came back on September 28th in Genoa, with the Nerrazurri picking up a 3-1 win. Perhaps you’ll remember that one for Alexis Sánchez’s goal and subsequent second yellow for alleged diving.
As mentioned previously, Inter picked up a narrow road win in its Round of 32 tie against Ludogorets. Christian Eriksen’s 71st minute game winner broke a two match losing skid, with Napoli and Lazio besting Inter. The latter defeat saw Inter drop to 3rd in Serie A, three and two points behind Juventus and Lazio, respectively. Therefore, a victory here is vital, especially considering Inter are unlikely to get any help as Juventus play bottom side SPAL while Lazio meet 18th placed Genoa.
Meanwhile, Sampdoria has earned a sole win in its last five. That poor run of form coupled with city rival Genoa’s four match undefeated streak has seen Sampdoria enter the relegation dogfight. On 23 points, Sampdoria is just one point above Genoa and relegation. To make things worse, Sampdoria enters this match off a shambolic 1-5 home thrashing to Fiorentina. It was a remarkable match as Sampdoria conceded two penalties, one own goal, and had left back Nicola Murru sent off.
In other words, anything less than a win for Inter would be rather embarrassing. Perhaps surprisingly, Sampdoria do have quality, namely Fabio Quagliarella, who won the Serie A Golden Boot last year. This campaign, however, the Italian has struggled, with only 7 goals so far. Whereas last season he totaled 26. Quagliarella and his striking partner Gabbiadini have done better recently, though, and combined for 4 goals in the last 3 outings.
Predicted Starting 11s
- Lautaro Matínez was subbed off at the 60th minute of what was then a nil nil game Thursday, while Romelu Lukaku played only thirty minutes.
- Brozović, Young, Candreva, Skriniar, and Bastoni were also rested vs Ludogorets, so expect a full strength 11 Sunday.
Prediction: Inter really have no excuse for anything less than a win, strange second yellows or not. I say 2-0 for the Nerazzurri.