Since Sunday, it has been all celebrations on the black and blue side of Milan. Inter Milan’s 19th Scudetto arrived after Atalanta’s 1-1 draw away to Sassuolo and no corners have been cut so far in the celebrations. Players and fans took to the streets on Sunday evening while on Thursday celebrations for the team commenced at Appiano Gentile. Inter may have sealed their fate for this season, but there are still matches to be played, including Saturday’s match against Sampdoria at home where 3000 fans will be allowed to celebrate at the stadium. It’ll be back to business for Antonio Conte and his players, who have indicated that they still want to finish the season strong.
The confirmed league champions have been basking in their well-deserved achievement. Congratulations have rained in from far and wide, bottles have been popped, and many a song has been sung. Last Saturday’s 2-0 win away against Crotone was a characteristic victory in this run to the title. Solid at the back and scoring just a needed goal or two. Inter still have yet to score more than two goals since doing so against Genoa in February. When a defense is as tight as Inter’s, and all that matters is scoring one more than the opposition, getting just one to two is often all that is needed.
Some lineup rotations are expected over the final matches, though Conte is a known hater of losing and will expect three points from whoever is playing. While some of the regular starters in this championship run will get some time off in the coming weeks, it may be an important time for young players to get a shot and for more fringe-type players to advertise themselves for moves elsewhere as cost cutting will be a theme of the summer.
One of the two teams to beat Inter in Serie A this season, Sampdoria come into the match fresh off a 2-0 victory over Roma. After a very shaky 2019-20 season, Claudio Ranieri has Sampdoria moving back up to the comfortable midtable positions, just missing out on competing for a European spot. They currently sit ninth in the table with thirteen league wins on their CV.
There is not much left for Sampdoria to play for in the league, but the prospect of being the only team to beat the league champions twice domestically will be more than enough motivation for Ranieri’s men. Their 2-1 win over Inter in early January was Inter’s last Serie A loss. Inter will be looking for revenge over Sampdoria and their small former Inter contingent. Also present will be the always dangerous Fabio Quagliarella.
2-1 (H) - 21/6/2020
2-1 (A) - 6/1/2021
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Inter 3-2 Samp
What better way to celebrate a title than with fireworks? This could be a high scoring affair, bucking Inter’s recent trends that got them the Scudetto. With less pressure, Inter may be able to go out and play a more free flowing match. However, between the celebrations, rotations, and facing Antonio Candreva there is a clear possibility for goals at the other end of the pitch as well. While Samp may get goals, the mentality of hating losing that Conte has instilled on his team should ultimately see the home side through, even with their heads in the stars.