A last-minute defeat in last Sunday’s Milan derby was a crushing blow for the Rossoneri, now coach Gennaro Gattuso must get his men back for a difficult home game against Sampdoria.
Inter Milan's Mauro Icardi delivered the only goal of the match last weekend, scoring in injury time at the end of the second half, to put the red and black half of the city on the back foot in the race for a Champions League berth.
Milan have struggled in midfield and the derby was a prime example of how a failure to sufficiently involve striker Gonzalo Higuain leads to negative results. “As for Higuain," said Gatusso, "We haven’t been good at getting the ball to him.”
“30% of that is Higuain’s fault, 70% is down to the team. It’s the fault of the whole collective, including me. I think after the first 10-15 minutes [in the derby] he got frustrated after two good runs where the ball didn’t reach him.
“When you make those kind of movements you want to be rewarded. We were struggling in the build-up, every time we went wide we couldn’t put in balls for Higuain.”
This is a problem that the Coach simply must address, especially with rumours over his future as first-team boss starting to increase, after a slow start to the campaign. It won’t be easy for him versus Sunday’s opponents Sampdoria, a well-organised outfit under astute tactician Marco Giampaolo.
The Blucerchiati have taken seven points from their last three matches away from home, all without conceding a single goal. This, added to the fact that Milan have conceded in each of their last 14 matches, could mean that the Rossoneri will really struggle to get three points here - and a failure to keep a clean sheet will result in their worst record in this regard since December 1946.
Previous results show that the San Siro outfit have won four of their last six matches versus Sampdoria, a record that would suggest another win here. Odds are available for a home win at 11/20 via William Hill, however current form suggests this will be a difficult endeavour.
Sampdoria have conceded just four times in their opening nine Serie A matches, a record that beats any of their previous 61 top-flight campaigns. That said, it will be tough for them to keep out a hungry Higuain and – coupled with the fact that Milan have such a leaky defence – a draw may well be on the cards. Betfair offer the best odds of 7/2 for this outcome, a bet well worth making for this fixture.
While Milan can’t seem to keep a clean sheet, they also like scoring at home, firing in at least twice in each of their last five home matches. Even if their build-up play left much to be desired in the derby, Gattuso’s men have already proven they can find a goal from nowhere, having netted a league-high five times from outside the box this term.
Sampdoria have proven that they are a worthy opponent, and given the home side’s record for conceding, a bet on both teams to score is a highly likely outcome. 888Sport offer 10/13 on this outcome, a must if you want to follow the form guide for this match. The same site also provide odds of 17/4 if you fancy backing a score draw.
Milan midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura has been in good form so far this season, scoring three goals from his first eight starts in the league. Furthermore, this player enjoys finding the net versus Sampdoria, his record of having scored on four previous occasions his joint-most against a single opponent.
The odds reflect the fact that Bonaventura isn’t a man that would immediately spring to mind when thinking about scoring goals, however, a little bit of knowledge goes a long way and it is certainly worth backing the 29-year-old. Karamba offer excellent odds of 29/4 on Bonaventura to score first or last, or 43/20 for an anytime strike, with either well worth your time on this occasion.
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