We’ll also have goal updates from the Stadio delle Alpi, where Juventus are hosting Milan. Juve’s season has collapsed since they lost at Sampdoria in February, with five defeats and only two wins from their last ten games, but Milan still have an outside chance of the title – especially if they and Inter win today.
Inter are unchanged from the team that drew 0-0 at Fiorentina a fortnight ago. Sampdoria make two changes from that nervous 3-2 win over Bari: Luca Pellegrini and Toninho Cerezo replace Marco Lanna and Ivano Bonetti. But there’s no Srecko Katanec, who has not recovered from injury; with Alexei Mikhailichenko out of favour and on the bench, Samp will start the game with only one of their three foreign players.
Indeed, the negligible influence of their overseas stars – at a time when the league is full of the world’s best – makes their performance this season even more remarkable. Mikhailichenko hasn’t started a game since February, whiole this is only Cerezo’s fourth start since he scored the winning goal against Milan on this ground in October.
Inter (4-1-3-2) Zenga; Paganin, Ferri, Bergomi, Brehme; Stringara; Bianchi, Matthaus, Berti; Serena, Klinsmann.
Substitutes: Malgioglio, Mandorlini, Baresi, Iorio, Pizzi.
Sampdoria (3-5-2) Pagliuca; Vierchowod, Pellegrini, Mannini; Lombardo, Invernizzi, Pari, Cerezo, Dossena; Mancini, Vialli.
Substitutes: Nuciari, Mikhailichenko, Branca, Lanna, Bonetti.
Referee Pietro D’Elia.
Hello. This match has been circled on the wallchart for months: Internazionale v Sampdoria at the San Siro, the Serie A title decider. AC Milan may have something to say about that, but the strong likelihood is that we will be watching the champions today. The equation is deliciously simple: Inter have to win, Sampdoria only need a draw to maintain control. And if they steal both points at the San Siro, they will all but clinch their first ever scudetto.
Serie A doesn’t generally do feelgood stories. This is serious, hard-nosed business, conducted and consumed with a fervour that makes religion seem almost frivolous by comparison. Sampdoria have been dreaming of the title since Paolo Mantovani bought the club 12 years ago. But the more you want something, the scarier it becomes. If they are beaten today, Sampdoria will be only one point clear – and they’ll have Inter’s volcanic breath all over their neck.
This is the league table with four games to play:
- Sampdoria 45 pts
- Inter 42
- Milan 41
- Genoa, Juventus, Parma, Torino 34
Sampdoria’s ability to cope with a cacophonous San Siro will go a long way to deciding today’s match. They were excellent in the tough away games earlier in the season – they won here against Milan, drew at Juventus and walloped the champions Napoli in that surreal game in November. But those games took place in the first half of the season, in more innocent times. We’re at the business end of the season now, and there aren’t many tomorrows.
Kick off: 4pm CET on 5 May 1991, 7.45pm BST on 6 May 2020.