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.
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.
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.