The 2022 World Cup qualifying got underway in the international break. Fourteen Milan players were involved including some for their respective U21 teams. The list included Ibra who returned to the Swedish national team and played 67 and 84 games in two Sweden wins at Kosovo and versus Georgia providing 2 assists.
The team returns to Serie A action still missing several player and a tired Ibra. Calabria, Romagnoli, Mandzukic, Diaz and Leao out. Leao is to be closest to a return and Diaz picked up a knock while away for the Spain U21 team.
The final 10 games will of course define the standings and Milan is still has to win many of the 10 to certify a top 4 spot. Sampdoria kicks off this sprint.
Donnarumma and his controversial contract issue will start in goal. Hernandez, Kjaer and Tomori look to play with Dalot at the back. Late in the week the usual news outlets reported that Saelemaekers will play as a right back. The Belgian will apparently bypass not only Dalot but also Kalulu for the spot. Kessie and Bennacer renew their pairing in the middle behind Castillejo, Calhanoglu and Rebic. Rebic won the appeal of his two game suspension for the red he received versus Napoli and has of course already served the one game at Fiorentina. Calhanoglu was one of the starts of the international break (for Turkey) and if he carries that form can be a catalyst for this final sprint. The aforementioned tired Ibra will start up front.
Sampdoria are led by Fabio Quagliarella with Antonio Candreva also a veteran on the team. Ranieri’s men have 1 win in the last 6 and 3 in the last 10 sitting right at midtable.
Follow this early afternoon match as it happens, on the forum.