Sampdoria are off to a great start this year. They are in fifth place in Serie A, and they are looking to return to European play for the first time in four years. The club already has some quality results this season, and they are looking to chalk up another result against a blue blood when they face AC Milan on Sunday. AC Milan are all the way down in 12th place, but they are just three points back of Sampdoria and they could pass a lot of teams with a win.
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- AC Milan vs. Sampdoria
- Date and Time: October 28, 2018, 1 p.m. ET3
- Location: San Siro, Milan, Italy3
- US Television Coverage: ESPN3
- Betting Line: AC Milan -1, O/U 2.5 and 3
AC Milan have been a bit disappointing this year. They were looking to improve upon last year’s finish in order to return to the Champions League, but they need to start picking up wins soon if that’s going to happen. Milan blew a 2-0 lead on the road to Napoli early in the season and allowed an extra time winner against rival Internazionale last weekend. Those losses are somewhat understandable though. Draws against Empoli and Cagliari are harder to explain, and that has left this team in the bottom half of the table ahead of this game.
Meanwhile, Sampdoria are in great shape a quarter of the way through the season. The club has notched a result in each of their last four matches, and they have some pretty nice results against the best teams in Italy. Sampdoria pounded Napoli 3-0, picked up a draw against Fiorentina, and they nearly got a draw against Internazionale before losing it in extra time a few weeks ago.
Unfortunately for AC Milan, the club is still without the services of Ivan Strinic for the time being. Strinic was one of the leaders of the Croatian team that made it to the World Cup Finals, and he was expected to be the cornerstone of the defense. However, the center back was diagnosed with a heart issue at the start of the season, and he has been ruled out until at least December as doctors continue to monitor the condition. In addition to Strinic’s absence, Milan will also not have midfielder Riccardo Montolivo available for this one.
Sampdoria will have two players miss this match too. Right back Gabriele Ronaldo left the team for personal reasons last week, and there has been no indication on when he will return to the club. Left back Vasco Regini tore his ACL over the summer, and he is aiming to be healthy in early 2019.
Matchup to Watch
The key to Sampdoria’s strong start this season has been their defense. Manager Marco Giampaolo has continually made this back line sound despite players being sold off during the transfer window, and his tactics have led to the club allowing just four goals through eight games. That is the lowest total in Italy, and one of the lowest totals in all of Europe thus far.
Gonzalo Higuain will lead the charge for AC Milan in trying to find some space against this unit. Higuain has looked good since coming over from Juventus, and he has four goals in eight matches. Sampdoria collapses the middle of the pitch to prevent forwards from getting the ball in dangerous spots, so AC Milan will have to attack from the wings.
AC Milan vs. Sampdoria Free Picks
The under is the best bet in this match. Sampdoria will keep AC Milan from doing too much offensively, while the visitors won’t have many chances of their own.
AC Milan vs. Sampdoria Prediction: AC Milan 1, Sampdoria 0
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