The Rossoneri face a tricky trip to Genoa as they continue to maintain pole position in the league...
Sampdoria appeared to be struggling without talisman Antonio Cassano as they went four competitive matches without a win and failed to score in any one of them. Things appeared to be bleak for the Blucerchiati but last weekend they bounced back in enthralling style as they won 3-2 against Lecce at the Via del Mare.
Italy international striker Giampaolo Pazzini turned on the style in Lecce as he scored a brilliant hat-trick, finding the winner just two minutes from normal time. The win lifted Samp to eighth in the league standings on 19 points from 13 matches, just one behind Italian and European champions Inter, who are sixth.
However, Domenico Di Carlo's side will have to maintain that momentum if they want to enhance their chances of finishing in a European spot at the end of the season. On Saturday evening Samp welcome league leaders and in-form Milan and will have to be especially careful about how they approach the game. Samp have already lost at the Marassi in the league and have won just twice, so in no way will they head into this game as favourites.
Consolidating The Lead
Milan have been going from strength to strength in Serie A as they still lead the table. Last weekend's narrow 1-0 win against Fiorentina thanks to an ingenious goal from star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic coupled with results elsewhere saw the Rossoneri maintain pole position as they are three points clear of Lazio on 29 points from 13 matches.
The victory over the Viola at San Siro was the former Italian and European champions' fourth league win in a row and eighth in nine games. Massimiliano Allegri's side stretched their imperious league form to Europe too in midweek as they qualified for the first knockout stage of the Champions League with an easy 2-0 win against Auxerre in France, with Ibrahimovic and Ronaldinho etching their respective names on the scoresheet.
A win in Genoa for Milan is very much probable especially given that they have won four of their six league matches on the road. The Diavolo are also the joint second top scorer in the division and with Ibra in red-hot form and the defence too starting to look more compact, they will be confident of at least maintaining their three-point advantage at the top of the table.
Zauri, Semioli, Palombo, Padalino and Obiang are out injured for the home side. Pazzini and Marilungo will be the two strikers in a flat 4-4-2 formation.
Pato, Inzaghi, Oddo, Pirlo and Antonini are unavailable for the trip to Genoa because of injuries. Robinho could start alongside Ibrahimovic in attack in a 4-3-1-2 system that will see Ronaldinho relegated to the bench.