Serie A Preview: Catania-Inter
Andrea Stramaccioni’s injury-riddled side will be desperate for a return to the win column when it visits Stadio Angelo Massimino.
By Jerrad Peters
Alvarez, Rolin, Spolli, Marchese
Izco, Gomez, Castro
Zanetti, Juan, Chivu, Pereira
Gargano, Kovacic, Cambiasso
If results don’t go its way this weekend, Inter could find itself as low as seventh in the table with only 11 rounds to play. Of course, it can prevent such a slide down the standings with a win at Catania on Sunday.
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 this weekend.
It won’t help that coach Andrea Stramaccioni has a handful of injuries and suspensions to worry about ahead of kick off.
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 defense.
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 has 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 has 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 has lost just one of its last three matches against Inter and beat the Nerrazzurri 2-1 the last time it 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)||Jan 26, 2014||Inter 0 - Catania 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||Sep 1, 2013||Catania 0 - Inter 3|
|Serie A (SR-A)||Mar 3, 2013||Catania 2 - Inter 3|
|Serie A (SR-A)||Oct 21, 2012||Inter 2 - Catania 0|
|Serie A (SR-A)||Mar 4, 2012||Inter 2 - Catania 2|
|Apr 13, 2014||Milan 1 - Catania 0||SR-A|
|Apr 6, 2014||Catania 1 - Torino 2||SR-A|
|Mar 31, 2014||Udinese 1 - Catania 0||SR-A|
|Mar 26, 2014||Catania 2 - Napoli 4||SR-A|
|Mar 23, 2014||Catania 0 - Juventus 1||SR-A|
|13||Mariano Julio Izco||Midfielder|
|-||Francesco Fabio Sciacca||Midfielder|
|-||Raffaele Di Gennaro||Goalkeeper|