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Serie A

  • January 9, 2011
  • • 14:00
  • • Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania
  • Referee: A. Damato
  • • Attendance: 15089
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Serie A Preview: Catania - Inter

Serie A Preview: Catania - Inter

Leonardo's reign of the Italian and European champions has taken off right away and Catania could be next in line of the firing squad...

Killing The Italian Giant

Any other side would play for a draw when Italy's arguably strongest side Inter come to town but not Catania. The Sicilians are one of the meanest sides at home in the Italian first division and will head into their encounter against the Milanese club on a high.

Catania have lost just one game at the Stadio Angelo Massimino all season but a disastrous away record has placed them just six points above the relegation zone in 13th. The Sicilians are one of three sides in the table on 21 points and will attempt to pull ahead.

The Etnei, though, have started the new year on the back foot as they stuttered to a 4-2 defeat to Roma in Rome on Thursday.With the likes of Bari and Cesena suddenly picking up wins, Catania will be aiming to do the same against Inter on Sunday.

Behind Enemy Lines & Befriending The Enemies


To call Inter's 3-1 hammering of Napoli in Serie A on Thursday night a fairytale debut for coach Leonardo would be an understatement. A Milan man through and through, the 41-year-old has just one year of top-flight coaching experience and that was just last season, but things couldn't have started better for him.

Constructed on a 4-3-1-2 system, Thursday's victory saw Inter leap up to 26 points from 16 matches and stay seventh in the Serie A standings, still 13 points behind leaders and arch-rivals Milan, but the triumph was significant on a psychological level. The Nerazzurri players have embraced Leonardo as their coach as was evident in the way that they celebrated their goals with him and the fans too seem to have taken to the Brazilian.

Leonardo's predecessor, Rafael Benitez, failed to gain the support or respect of the players and lost the battle before he had even taken to the battlefield; Leonardo, on the other hand, has his players firmly behind him already, and not with daggers.

However, Inter should do well not to get carried away with the victory over a Napoli side who tend to struggle against the bigger teams as the Italian and European champions head to Sicily to confront Catania. Last season under Jose Mourinho the Beneamata suffered a humiliating 3-1 defeat in the corresponding fixture and given the Rossazzurri's strong record at home, Leonardo must be careful about his tactics and gameplan.



TEAM NEWS

Catania


Izco, Biagianti, Morimoto and Potenza are out injured for the Sicilians. Antenucci and Maxi Lopez will be the two strikers in a 4-4-2 system.

Inter

Sneijder, Coutinho, Samuel and Julio Cesar are still injured and will not make the trip to Sicily. Eto'o is back from suspension and will start alongside Milito in attack in a 4-3-1-2 formation.

Players to watch

M. López

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Maxi Lopez will once again be Catania's main threat upfront and will look to rediscover his old form against the Nerazzurri. The Argentine has struggled to find the target regularly but he is a quality striker and would be a handful for the Inter defenders.

S. Eto'o

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

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Samuel Eto'o returns from injury and it will be interesting to see how Leonardo lines him up in his squad. The two-striker formation worked well against Napoli and one suspects that the Cameroonian will be slotted in alongside Milito in attack. Eto'o has been the best player for Inter so far this campaign and he will be the main threat to break Catania's strong record at home.

Editor's Prediction

Catania have a formidable record at home and will aspire a victory over Inter. However, it is not going to be that simple and one suspects that the two sides will share the spoils.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Catania

Internazionale

Wins
0
2
3
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

Calcio Catania CAT
Calcio Catania Catania
Draw
FC Internazionale Milano INT
FC Internazionale Milano Internazionale
89%

Top 3 Predictions

Calcio Catania CAT
0 - 2
FC Internazionale Milano INT
Calcio Catania CAT
1 - 2
FC Internazionale Milano INT
Calcio Catania CAT
0 - 3
FC Internazionale Milano INT

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