Ranieri: “Samp must play with pride against the champions”

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U.C. Sampdoria

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Claudio Ranieri’s Sampdoria side might have beaten Roma last time out in Serie A, but this weekend holds an even sterner test – a trip to face champions-elect Inter at San Siro.

Doria beat Inter in memorable fashion in the reverse fixture earlier in the season, but Ranieri isn’t reading too much into that game ahead of Saturday’s clash.

“Thinking back to the win earlier in the season, I would never have thought we’d be the last team to beat Inter,” he said on Friday. “Inter are much improved since that game and they’ve deserved to win the title, but we’ve progressed too. We don’t want to play the part of sacrificial lambs on their big day.”

Ranieri stressed that Samp will need to be at their best to get anything from the game, however.

“We’ll need the perfect performance,” he said. “I’m taking all 26 squad members to Milan, because we don’t have any injuries and it’s only fair for everybody to be able to participate in big games like this one. The group is realising that you have to show pride and spirit of sacrifice in every game.”

The Doria coach also reiterated his target for the rest of the season.

“I’ve been saying it for weeks – our aim is to get to 52 points,” he said. “The team understands that. There’s a great connection within the group and the players give their all in training every day and always have a smile on their face. We’re on the right track.”

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