Serie A runners-up Milan play host to newly promoted Sampdoria at San Siro, with both sides hoping to start the campaign on a high.
The Rossoneri enjoyed a very promising season last term, even if they ended up losing the title race to Juventus, and they were expected to show an addition improvement this term.
However, instead of reinforcing their squad over the summer, the club chiefs sold Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and Antonio Cassano, while Alessandro Nesta, Clarence Seedorf, Gennaro Gattuso, Marl van Bommel and Gianluca Zambrotta were all released.
In came Giampaolo Pazzini, Cristian Zapata, Ricardo Montolivo, Bakaye Traore, Francesco Acerbi and Kevin Constant, but these will not be enough to compensate for the departures.
New signing Giampaolo Pazzini will slot right into the starting line-up, but Sulley Muntari, Rodney Strasser, Ignazio Abate, Didac Vila, Alexandre Pato and Massimo Ambrosini are all sidelined through injury.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-1-2): Abbiati – De Sciglio, Zapata, Acerbi, Antonini – Nocerino, Flamini, Montolivo – Boateng – Robinho, Pazzini.
Sampdoria returned to the top flight after spending just one season in Serie B, with Serie A survival their main objective this season.
Surprisingly enough, il Doria were not too active in the summer transfer window, although they did sign Lorenzo De Silvestri, Maxi Lopez, Marcelo Estigarribia and Paolo Castellini.
Ciro Ferrara’s side had a poor start to the season as they were beaten by Juve Stabia in Coppa Italia, so they are now looking to show some improvement against Milan.
New signing Maxi Lopez is doubtful with a back problem, while Nicola Pozzi and Angelo Da Costa are suspended.
Midfielder Andrea Poli, who spent last season on loan at Inter, will be in the starting line-up even though he is expected to leave before the transfer window closes.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Romero – De Silvestri, Gastaldello, Costa, Castellini – Munari, Obiang, Poli – Estigarribia, Maxi Lopez, Eder.