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
Belluschi, Legrottaglie, Spolli
Barrientos, Izco, Lodi, Almiron, Marchese
Zambrotta, Bonera, Mexes, Antonini
Aquilani, Ambrosini, Nocerino
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.
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Top 3 Predictions
Catania 0-3 AC Milan
- 26.36 %
Catania 0-2 AC Milan
- 21.44 %
Catania 1-3 AC Milan
- 9.93 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Dec 1, 2013||Catania 1 - AC Milan 3|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 28, 2013||AC Milan 4 - Catania 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Nov 30, 2012||Catania 1 - AC Milan 3|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Mar 31, 2012||Catania 1 - AC Milan 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Nov 6, 2011||AC Milan 4 - Catania 0|
|Dec 8, 2013||Sampdoria 2 - Catania 0||ITA1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Catania 1 - AC Milan 3||ITA1|
|Nov 24, 2013||Torino 4 - Catania 1||ITA1|
|Nov 9, 2013||Catania 1 - Udinese 0||ITA1|
|Nov 2, 2013||SSC Napoli 2 - Catania 1||ITA1|
|13||Mariano Julio Izco||Midfielder|
|8||Gennaro Ivan Gattuso||Midfielder|
|92||Stephan El Shaarawy||Striker|
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.
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
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.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed