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Milan vs. Samp Preview

My schedule is madness right now, so i am going to take the lazy man's rout and pilfer my preview straight out of Channel 4, but before I do that I want to raise a few points...

*Antonini will get the start tomorrow, and we are awaiting what he can do and what he is capable of. He is young and has a ton of potentia to fill a void desperataly needed at Milan, I am excited and wish him the best.

*David "Golden Balls" Beckham may train with Milan over the winter, much as he did with Arsenal last season. Beckham was on Milan's doorstep before his move to LA, and has always been a favorite of both balding members of the Milan brass. There is speculation that a loan deal may be worked out with MLS to allow Becks to wear the Rossoneri jersey in friendlies, but the liklehood of MLS loaning out their most valuable asset is slim to none. He will train at Milanello, but don't expect to pull on the red and black anytime soon.

Here is the lazy man's preview, I will see you all tomorrow for the Devil's return after this torturous international break...

Milan announced they were Scudetto contenders after stringing together five straight wins in all competition, but will Sampdoria cause an upset and show they spoke too soon?

The Rossoneri had a disastrous start to the campaign with two straight defeats, but seemed to have turned it all around with back-to-back Serie A victories over Lazio, Reggina and Inter. The dour goalless draw at Cagliari before the break for international duty showed they still need to find the right mentality for the weekly slog instead of just focusing on the big games like the derby.

Samp’s problems also appear to be psychological, as they have been magnificent in the UEFA Cup, but are without a single victory in Serie A so far this season. Walter Mazzarri insists “there is no crisis” despite picking up four points from six games, in which they scored only four goals.

The attack is clearly the issue and fans have protested at the fact Emiliano Bonazzoli is the sole centre-forward supported by Antonio Cassano. Bruno Fornaroli and the newly-fit Claudio Bellucci are raring to go, but the trip to San Siro might be too risky a time to change system. Bans for Salvatore Accardi and Daniele Dessena will force adjustments with Jonathan Bottinelli and Gennaro Delvecchio likely to come in.

Gianluca Zambrotta is suspended, while Andrea Pirlo, Philippe Senderos, Marco Borriello and Kakha Kaladze are injured. Alessandro Nesta and Pippo Inzaghi made their comebacks in a midweek friendly defeat away to FK Tirana, but it remains to be seen when they will be ready to feature in a competitive clash.

It is likely Daniele Bonera will take the right-back role with Marek Jankulovski on the left, although Giuseppe Favalli is another alternative if Bonera is needed in the centre. Kaka rediscovered his form with Brazil and will again complete the Selecao trident with Ronaldinho and Alexandre Pato.

If there is anything that will boost the Blucerchiati’s confidence, it’s that last season Sampdoria won here 2-1, their first victory at San Siro since 1997. That result was achieved without the suspended Cassano, who bagged a brace in the 4-2 loss to Atalanta in Week 6.

Keep an eye on: Kaka (Milan) – With just one goal in Serie A so far and injury affecting his form, he will be hoping the splendid performance for Brazil can translate to club football.

Last season: Milan 1-2 Sampdoria

Form guide: Milan (L W W W D) Sampdoria (L D D D L)

Milan (probable): Abbiati; Favalli, Bonera, Maldini, Jankulovski; Ambrosini, Gattuso, Seedorf; Kaka, Ronaldinho; Pato

Sampdoria (probable): Mirante; Lucchini, Gastaldello, Bottinelli; Stankevicius, Delvecchio, Sammarco, Franceschini, Pieri; Cassano; Bonazzoli

Highligts of Samp-Milan from last campaign...