Inter Milan will be up against Sampdoria in the final Serie A encounter of the season at the San Siro in Milan on the 22nd of May.
Defending champions Inter Milan could potentially be 90 minutes away from retaining their Serie A title on Sunday if they can claim all three points from their final match of the season against Sampdoria at San Siro. Arch-rivals and city neighbors AC Milan remain the favourites to win the Scudetto courtesy of a two-point advantage at the top. However, Inter players cannot allow themselves to think about Milan. Their focus will be on getting maximum points from the clash against Sampdoria at home and hope that their title rivals slip up in Sassuolo.
Going into the final matchday of the Italian topflight this season, the equation for Inter Milan is pretty clear – they have to better Milan’s result against Sassuolo if they wish to hold on to their status as Scudetto holders. Therefore, it is only positive that they are heading into this summit clash on the back of a four-game winning run.
The Nerazzurri have gotten the better of Udinese, Empoli, and Cagliari since suffering an upset to Bologna last month, which struck a blow to their hopes of winning the title this season. However, the crowning fixture over the last few matches for Inter Milan has definitely been their dramatic extra-time victory in the Coppa Italia final over old rivals Juventus. They had also beaten the same opponents to Supercoppa success earlier this year.
Although Juventus had a 2-1 lead heading into the final 10 minutes of the match, Inter Milan got back on level terms through Hakan Calhanoglu, who converted from the penalty spot and forced extra time. Veteran striker Ivan Perisic, who has seen it all in the world of football, then stepped up and seized the occasion. He scored a brace to hand Inter yet another test of silverware at the expense of Juventus.
Inter Milan had also beaten Juventus to a pulp to win the Serie A title in 2021 after nine years of dominance by the Bianconeri. It goes without saying that they would love to add a 20th national title to their cup wins this season. If they manage to do that, it will be the first time since the Jose Mourinho era more than a decade ago that they manage to achieve this incredible feat.
Inter fans were left worried sick when last season’s title-winning coach Antonio Conte departed the club over financial and sporting issues. However, in the wake of his loss, current coach Simone Inzaghi has done extremely well. He has stretched every sinew and has left no stone unturned in the pursuit of league glory. The Nerazzurri are currently on even points and could add another 3 to the tally on Sunday evening. On five of the last six occasions that Inter have exceeded 80 points in a season since the 1988 campaign, they’ve gone on to be crowned champions of the league.
Another win against Sampdoria could take Simone Inzaghi to a wonderful tally of 25 Serie A wins for the season in his debut campaign at San Siro. Inter already have the best home record in the league, which they are guaranteed to finish with, and have also been the most prolific, finding the back of the net 81 times in the league so far.
The Serie A title race this season has been extremely frantic, leaving no room for mistakes. Even seven victories from their last eight league fixtures have failed to take Inter Milan back to the top of the table at the expense of their city rivals who have done a more than tremendous job. However, the title race is still not over yet as there’s one more dice left to be played. Half of the city of Milan will be at the San Siro egging them on against Sampdoria while Inter players and personnel will be hoping for AC Milan’s downfall away from home.
Sampdoria, meanwhile, will be hoping to rain in on Inter’s parade and end their hopes of a title there itself. They had managed to hold the Nerazzurri to a 2-2, draw back in September’s reverse fixture at Marassi. However, Sampdoria’s last league win at the San Siro dates way back to April of 2017.
Indeed, that rare victory is Samp’s only success against Sunday’s hosts in the two sides’ last 19 meetings at Inter’s iconic home ground San Siro – there have otherwise been only five draws and 13 defeats there for the Blucerchiati during that period.
Sampdoria have managed to confirm their safety in the Italian top-flight beyond this season after collecting seven points from the last four league matches. They had only picked up six points from their previous nine games which had raised eyebrows back at home. However, they are currently nine points clear of the dreaded relegation zone following a surprising result earlier this week.
Given the Ligurian outfit had managed to defeat only Serie A’s bottom two since the middle of February, Monday night’s 4-1 defeat of top-six contenders Fiorentina came as something of a welcome shock for the visitors, as they struck twice in each half to seal just their sixth home win of the season in some style.
Alex Ferrari, Fabio Quagliarella, Morten Thorsby, and Abdelhamid Sabiri put the game to bed and inflicted misery on Fiorentina who managed to get one back through Nicolas Gonzalez’s penalty kick in the dying stages of the game. Sampdoria’s perfect night got soiled by giving away that penalty and also when their player Omar Colley saw his marching orders in the fourth minute of added time.
However, there were plenty of reasons to celebrate following the hammering of Fiorentina. The finishing line is now in sight for Marco Giampaolo‘s men, but it has largely been a dismal campaign at Marassi – only made marginally better for fans by the demise of city rivals Genoa, who are Serie B-bound.
The Sampdoria manager has certainly been struggling to turn the fortunes around since returning to the helm in January. Therefore, producing an unlikely win at San Siro to help former employers Milan secure the title in a comfortable fashion on the final day of the season might be asking a tad too much.
INT vs SAM, Serie A 2021/22
Date: 22nd May, 2022
Time: 9:30 AM IST
Venue: San Siro, Milan
Inter Milan Serie A form:
Inter Milan form (all competitions):
Sampdoria Serie A form:
Sampdoria form (all competitions):
Inter Milan wins: 22
Sampdoria wins: 6
Inter Milan Team News: They say that fortune favours the brave and that is exactly what manager Simone Inzaghi will be enjoying heading into this final clash. The manager has almost everyone fit and available for one final push. Therefore, he is expected to field a similar lineup that started in Sardinia last Sunday.
Unfortunately, only midfielder Roberto Gagliardini is set to be out of contention for the final match of the season after injuring his foot in training. In any case, he would’ve been extremely unlikely to start the game. However, he did make an impact from the bench in the previous 3-1 win over Cagliari as he set up Argentine striker Lautaro Martinez’s second goal.
Veteran forward Edin Dzeko will be the top choice to spearhead the attack ahead of the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Joaquin Correa. Dzeko is expected to partner the in-form Lautaro Martinez. Nobody has scored more goals in Serie A since the beginning of March than the Argentine number 9, finding the back of the net on 10 occasions during that period.
On the other, veteran Swiss army knife Ivan Perisic has delivered the most assists (6) and also scored the match-winning double in the Coppa Italia final. However, he is set to depart this summer and will certainly start on the left side of Inzaghi’s usual 3-5-2 combination.
Sampdoria Team News: Meanwhile, Sampdoria will be without Omar Colley who got red-carded against Fiorentina and will have to serve his suspension on the final day of the season. On the hand, Inter loanee Stefano Sensi will miss the meeting with his parent club owing to injury.
The manager might have to go with either Maya Yoshida or Giangiacomo Magnani to replace Omar Colley at the heart of the Sampdoria defence. Veteran forward Fabio Quagliarella – who got on the scoresheet against Fiorentina on Monday – will be hopeful about retaining his place up front ahead of manager Marco Giampaolo’s usual first choice, Francesco Caputo.
Former Nerazzurri winger Antonio Candreva has scored the most goals in his Serie A career against Inter, which includes five in his six most recent matches for Sampdoria and Lazio. He will be expected to go head to head against Ivan Perisic on the right flank and beat him for pace.
Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Martinez, Dzeko
Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Ferrari, Yoshida, Augello; Vieira; Candreva, Thorsby, Rincon, Sabiri; Quagliarella
Inter Milan have scored 11 goals in their last three matches – which includes 30 minutes of extra time action against Juventus in the Coppa Italia final where they ended up triumphing – suggests that the Nerazzurri have enough gas left in the tank and are holding nothing back in their pursuit of the domestic double in Italy.
It will take an unusual scenario for Sampdoria to rob them of three points at the iconic San Siro on Sunday. Therefore, we can expect business as usual from Simone Inzaghi’s side who are the firm favourites to win this match comfortably and take all three points. Whether that will be enough for them to retain the Serie A crown is a different matter as they will have to await news from Sassuolo’s Mapei Stadium with bated breath following their clash.