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Serie A

  • March 3, 2013
  • • 14:00
  • • Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania
  • Referee: M. Bergonzi
  • • Attendance: 14000
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Catania-Inter Preview: Struggling Nerazzurri visit in-form Sicilians

Catania-Inter Preview: Struggling Nerazzurri visit in-form Sicilians

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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

  PROBABLE LINEUPS

CATANIA

Andujar
Alvarez, Rolin, Spolli, Marchese
Lodi, Biagianti
Izco, Gomez, Castro
Bergessio
INTER

Handanovic
Zanetti, Juan, Chivu, Pereira
Gargano, Kuzmanovic
Schelotto, Kovacic, Guarin
Rocchi

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.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
23Mariano AndújarGoalkeeper
3Nicolás SpolliDefender
5Alexis RolínDefender
15Giovanni MarcheseDefender
22Pablo ÁlvarezDefender
10Francesco LodiMidfielder
-Mariano Julio IzcoMidfielder
19Lucas CastroMidfielder
27Marco BiagiantiMidfielder
9Gonzalo BergessioStriker
-Alejandro GómezMidfielder
1Alberto FrisonGoalkeeper
-Giuseppe MessinaGoalkeeper
-Alessandro PotenzaDefender
-Blazej AugustynDefender
4Sergio AlmironMidfielder
-Francesco Fabio SciaccaMidfielder
10Adrian RicchiutiMidfielder
11Amidu SalifuMidfielder
26KekoStriker
-Edgar ÇaniStriker
-Souleymane DoukaraStriker
1Samir HandanoviçGoalkeeper
4Javier ZanettiDefender
26Cristian ChivuDefender
11Á. PereiraDefender
5Juan JesusDefender
-E. SchelottoMidfielder
11Ricardo ÁlvarezMidfielder
13Fredy GuarínMidfielder
17Zdravko KuzmanovicMidfielder
23Walter GarganoMidfielder
9Tommaso RocchiStriker
30Pablo CarrizoGoalkeeper
-Raffaele Di GennaroGoalkeeper
-Simone PasaDefender
33Ibrahima MbayeDefender
2JonathanDefender
10Dejan StankovicMidfielder
10Mateo KovačićMidfielder
5Esteban CambiassoMidfielder
-Marco BenassiMidfielder
8Rodrigo PalacioStriker
-Matteo ColombiStriker
Players to Watch
Alejandro Gómez
Alejandro Gómez
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 0
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

The little Argentine seems to get better each season he spends in Italy, and his five Serie A goals so far this campaign are already more than he managed last term. He’ll play from out wide against Inter on Sunday, and it’s from the flank that he has earned his team-leading six assists.

Mateo Kovačić
Mateo Kovačić
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 10
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0

The young Croat has featured only fleetingly for Inter since his January arrival from Dinamo Zagreb, but Saturday could be the moment when he introduces himself to Serie A audiences. The 18-year-old prodigy is expected to fill in for Antonio Cassano, who was dropped amid reports of a bust-up with coach Andrea Stramaccioni, meaning the bulk of the Nerazzurri's creative duties will lie at his feet.

Prediction

Inter are under all sorts of pressure, and the suspensions to Nagatomo and Ranocchia couldn’t have come at a worse time. Catania are playing some of the best football in their history and have every reason to believe they can get a least a draw out of this.

Editor's Prediction
Inter 1

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