Both sides have had disappointing starts to the Serie A season, with the hosts already 10 points off the pace, while the visitors are only a point from the foot of the table.Massimiliano Allegri has backed Alessandro Matri to open his Milan account when the Rossoneri face Sampdoriaon Saturday.
Milan has only won once this season and finds itself already 10 points behind leader Roma after just five games. The club prepares for a home clash with struggling Sampdoria without talisman Mario Balotelli, and the pressure is starting to build on Matri to fill the void.
He has yet to score since a move from Juventus, but his side's defending is more of a concern for Allegri.
"We have got to improve in defense, but also in attack, seeing as we only convert about 30 percent of our scoring opportunities," Allegri said. "Matri played for the team and I hope he can break his duck on Saturday. If he continues like this, the goal will come."
Milan is proving to be the comeback king in Serie A this season, as the club has scored late goals in three of its five matches - earning points in two of them.
Sampdoria is struggling under Delio Rossi and has yet to taste victory in this campaign. Its two draws, which have both come away from home, leave the club on two points and in the bottom three. It will take heart from the fact that it was unbeaten against Milan last season and won at San Siro thanks to a Junior Costa goal.
Balotelli will serve the second of his three-match ban, while Kaka (thigh), Mattia De Sciglio and Giampaolo Pazzini (both knee) are all definitely out through injury for Milan. Allegri also has doubts over Riccardo Montolivo, Stephan El Shaarawy (both thigh) and Daniele Bonera but the latter may not be risked as he continues his recovery from a knee injury.
The visitors have concerns of striker Eder and Daniele Gastaldello (both knee) but will hope to have them for their trip north.