Catania-Inter Preview: Struggling Nerazzurri visit in-form Sicilians
Andrea Stramaccioni’s injury-riddled side will be desperate for a return to the win column when they visit Stadio Angelo Massimino but will have to do so without Antonio Cassano
By Jerrad Peters
Alvarez, Rolin, Spolli, Marchese
Izco, Gomez, Castro
Zanetti, Juan, Chivu, Pereira
Schelotto, Kovacic, Guarin
The Nerazzurri come into their 27th match of the season just a point back of fourth-placed AC Milan and three adrift of Lazio and the Champions League places. But having taken just six points from 18 since mid-January, they’re in desperate need of a turnaround and will looking for some big performances against Catania.
It won’t help that coach Andrea Stramaccioni has a handful of injuries and suspensions to worry about ahead of kick off as well as a reported bust-up with attacker Antonio Cassano. It could mean Tommasso Rocchi is in line for his first start for the Nerazzurri.
Top-scorer Diego Milito is out for the rest of the season after sustaining a cruciate ligament against Cluj in the Europa League, and defender Walter Samuel remains sidelined with an Achilles problem.
Add the suspensions of Yuto Nagatomo and Andrea Ranocchia, and Stramaccioni will have to recall Alvaro Pereira at left-back and move Cristian Chivu into central defence.
Catania boss Rolando Maran has his own disciplinary issues coming into Sunday, what with Nicola Legrottaglie and Giuseppe Bellusci both suspended.
The Sicilians will also be without winger Pablo Barrientos, who has a muscle problem, and midfielder Fabio Sciacca, who is recovering from knee surgery.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Inter have won just two of their last 11 Serie A matches - against 15th-place Chievo and second-from-bottom Pescara.
- With Milito out of the picture, Antonio Cassano (pictured, right) and Rodrigo Palacio are Inter’s highest active goalscorers, with seven goals apiece in Serie A. Fredy Guarin is next with four.
- Cassano is third in the Serie A assist table with eight. Marek Hamsik has 11 assists and Borja Valero nine.
- Catania have lost just once in 2013 — a stretch of eight matches.
- Only Juventus, Napoli and Lazio — the top three sides in Serie A — have better defensive records than Catania so far this season.
- Catania have lost just one of their last three matches against Inter and beat the Nerrazzurri 2-1 the last time they faced them on this ground.
Top 3 Predictions
Catania 0-2 Inter
- 20.83 %
Catania 0-3 Inter
- 12.25 %
Catania 1-2 Inter
- 11.62 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||26-Jan-2014||Inter 0 - Catania 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||02-Sep-2013||Catania 0 - Inter 3|
|Serie A (SR-A)||03-Mar-2013||Catania 2 - Inter 3|
|Serie A (SR-A)||21-Oct-2012||Inter 2 - Catania 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||05-Mar-2012||Inter 2 - Catania 2|
|09-Mar-2014||Catania 1 - Cagliari 1||SR-A|
|02-Mar-2014||Genoa 2 - Catania 0||SR-A|
|23-Feb-2014||Chievo 2 - Catania 0||SR-A|
|16-Feb-2014||Catania 3 - Lazio 1||SR-A|
|09-Feb-2014||Parma 0 - Catania 0||SR-A|
|13||Mariano Julio Izco||Midfielder|
|-||Francesco Fabio Sciacca||Midfielder|
|-||Raffaele Di Gennaro||Goalkeeper|