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1 vs 1
Played
March 31, 2012 5:00 PM BST
Stadio Angelo Massimino — Catania
Referee:‬ M. Bergonzi‎
Attendance:‬ 20253‎
 
Robinho 34′

Catania - AC Milan Preview: European-chasing hosts looking to cause Allegri's men trouble in Serie A title race

The Sicilians have had an impressive campaign, sitting just six points out of fifth place, while the visitors look to take a step closer to a second consecutive Scudetto

By Adam Scime

Maxi Lopez - Ac Milan (Getty Images)
Getty

PROBABLE LINEUPS

CATANIA


Carrizo
Belluschi, Legrottaglie, Spolli
Barrientos, Izco, Lodi, Almiron, Marchese
Bergessio, Gomez



AC MILAN


Abbiati
Zambrotta, Bonera, Mexes, Antonini
Aquilani, Ambrosini, Nocerino
Boateng
Ibrahimovic, El Shaarawy



In-form Catania have relatively few worries to consider ahead of their match against league leaders AC Milan.

Coach Vincenzo Montella will be without defender Alessandro Potenza and midfielder Marco Biagianti due to injury, but full-back Marco Motta is available for selection once again and could start despite Pablo Barrientos being favoured to be selected on the right of midfield.

Playmaker and set-piece specialist, Fracesco Lodi, should pull the strings in midfield behind pacy attacking duo Alejandro Gomez and Gonzalo Bergessio.

Conversely, coming off a spirited defensive performance that saw them hold Champions league holders Barcelona to a 0-0 draw, a fatigued Milan are dealing with several absences.

Midfielder Sulley Muntari and left-back Djamel Mesbah are serving suspensions. Mark van Bommel is available once again after being banned, but along with veteran defender Alessandro Nesta, is unlikely to be risked ahead of the second leg at Camp Nou on Tuesday night.

Star centre-back Thiago Silva's continued absence due to a knock he picked up in the 2-1 win over Roma means that Gianluca Zambrotta and Daniele Bonera should once again feature in the first XI despite the recent recovery of right-back Ignazio Abate from a muscle injury.

Meanwhile, striker Maxi Lopez could take on the team he left this winter to move to San Siro, but seems more likely to start from the bench with Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Stephan El Shaarawy set to feature in attack.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • Catania have only lost one of their last 10 matches, a 3-1 defeat to Juventus back on February 18 in Turin.
  • The Sicilians have only lost twice at Stadio Angelo Massimino this season and currently sit an impressive seventh place in Serie A.
  • Catania lost 4-0 to the Rossoneri in November at San Siro.
  • AC Milan have won their last four Serie A games, with Ibrahimovic scoring seven times during that span.
  • Massimiliano Allegri's men have 10 away victories in Serie A this season, more than any other side in the division.
  • A league-high total of 17 different players have scored for Milan this campaign.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
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Serie A ‎(SR-A)‎ 28 Apr 2013 AC Milan 4 - Catania 2
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Serie A ‎(SR-A)‎ 30 Nov 2012 Catania 1 - AC Milan 3
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Serie A ‎(SR-A)‎ 31 Mar 2012 Catania 1 - AC Milan 1
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
30Pablo CarrizoGoalkeeper
3Nicolás SpolliDefender
6Nicola LegrottaglieDefender
-Marco MottaDefender
15Giovanni MarcheseDefender
4Sergio AlmironMidfielder
10Francesco LodiMidfielder
13Mariano Julio IzcoMidfielder
28Pablo BarrientosMidfielder
9Gonzalo BergessioStriker
-Alejandro GómezMidfielder
-Tomáš KošickýGoalkeeper
14Giuseppe BellusciDefender
17F. SeymourMidfielder
-Cristian LlamaMidfielder
-Adrian RicchiutiMidfielder
-Davide LanzafameStriker
24Andrea CatellaniStriker
32Christian AbbiatiGoalkeeper
5Philippe MexesDefender
20Ignazio AbateDefender
25Daniele BoneraDefender
3Luca AntoniniDefender
10Alberto AquilaniMidfielder
-Antonio NocerinoMidfielder
21Massimo AmbrosiniMidfielder
28Urby EmanuelsonMidfielder
10Zlatan IbrahimovicStriker
7RobinhoStriker
1Marco AmeliaGoalkeeper
19Gianluca Zambrotta Defender
33Mario YepesDefender
8Gennaro Ivan GattusoMidfielder
9Kevin-Prince BoatengMidfielder
7Maxi LópezStriker
92Stephan El ShaarawyStriker
Players to Watch
Francesco Lodi
Francesco Lodi
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
16 1 3 0
The midfielder is Catania’s top-scorer this season with his prowess from set pieces and spot-kicks being a real feature of the team’s rise to prominence in the standings during 2011-12. 
The Etnei might need one of his moments of magic from a dead ball situation to overcome a Rossoneri defence that has conceded just 23 goals this season. 
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The Sweden international just can’t seem to stop scoring in Serie A and after a subpar performance against Barcelona during midweek, he will be eager to resume finding the back of the net in order to silence his critics
Prediction
It will be no easy task for the Rossoneri to defeat Montella's high-flying side at the moment and coupled with their exertion from the clash with the Blaugrana, one could see the Sicilians causing a slight bump in the road and ending the champions' four-game winning run in Serie A.
Editor's Prediction
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Ciro Immobile Ciro Immobile
Striker
Torino
20 0
Luca Toni Luca Toni
Striker
Hellas Verona
18 2
Carlos Tévez Carlos Tévez
Striker
Juventus
18 1
Gonzalo Higuaín Gonzalo Higuaín
Striker
Napoli
17 5
Rodrigo Palacio Rodrigo Palacio
Striker
Inter
15 0