It's back to Serie A action after the international break and on Sunday there is the fiery Sicilian derby.....
Kickoff: Sunday, November 22, 15:00 CET
Stadio Renzo Barbera
Stadio Renzo Barbera
Inconsistent And Struggling
Palermo were one of the outside bets to try and launch an assault on the Scudetto this season but the Rosanero have been inconsistent so far, and after a terrible start to the season are finding climbing up the table tough.
Walter Zenga's team are winless in their last three league encounters, having fallen 3-1 away at Bologna in week 12 after losing to Inter and then drawing with Genoa.
The Aquile's main problem has been at the back where they have shipped far too many goals than they would have liked to. Their players have scored but Palermo have exhibited a disappointing tendency to concede too.
At the moment Palermo are in 11th place in the Serie A standings, just four points off a European spot. On other days one could have said that it would be easy for them to defeat a side second from bottom at home but their defeat to Bologna in the last round should make one cautious.
All Set For Doomsday
Catania must be hoping for the old adage of the form book flying out of the window during a derby because there is precious little that would convince one to put one's money on the Etnei defeating Palermo at the Stadio Renzo Barbera.
Week 12's encouraging 0-0 draw at home with Champions League spot chasing Napoli brought on a stay of execution for coach Gianluca Atzori and the Italian would be hoping for something better in the Sicilian derby on Sunday afternoon.
Catania striker Giuseppe Mascara believes that they can win 2-0 and indeed they can score a goal or two against an unconvincing Palermo backline but it might be pushing it a bit for a side that has scored just 11 goals all season in the league.
A win for Catania, though, would be enough for them to drag themselves out of the relegation zone at the end of week 13 should both Atalanta and Livorno suffer defeats.
November 8 v Bologna (A) - LOST 3-1 (Serie A)
November 1 v Genoa (H) – DREW 0-0 (Serie A)
October 29 v Inter (A) LOST 5-3 (Serie A)
October 25 v Udinese (H) WON 1-0 (Serie A)
October 18 v Livorno (A) WON 2-1 (Serie A)
November 7 v Napoli (H) DREW 0-0 (Serie A)
November 1 v Fiorentina (A) LOST 1-3 (Serie A)
October 28 v Chievo (H) – LOST 1-2 (Serie A)
October 24 v Inter (A) LOST 2-1 (Serie A)
October 18 v Cagliari (H) WON 2-1 (Serie A)
The hosts are expected to line up in a 3-4-1-2 formation with Javier Pastore playing just behind Edinson Cavani and Fabrizio Miccoli. Fabio Simplicio and Mattia Cassani both are back from international duty. Davide Succi and Giovanni Tedesco are unavailable while there are slight doubts on Cavani's fitness.
Probable Lineup (3-4-1-2): Singu, Kjaer, Migliaccio, Bovo; Cassani, Simplicio, Bresciano, Balzaretti; Pastore; Cavani, Miccoli
Pablo Barrientos, Fabio Sciacca, Gennaro Delvecchio and Giuseppe Bellusci all are unavailable for the trip to Palermo where there are doubts on Mariano Andujar and Ezequiel Carboni.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Andujar, Silvestre, Terlizzi, Spolli; Potenza, Biagianti, Carboni, Llama, Capuano; Mascara, Morimoto
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Fabio Simplicio (Palermo)
The 30-year-old was called up for Brazil's match against England and has been in good form this season for Palermo. He has scored one goal and provided one assist and will again be manning the midfield. A much under-rated midfield player with massive quality, Simplicio would be important in the Sicilian derby on Sunday afternoon.
Takayuki Morimoto (Catania)
The Japanese striker has looked sensational in some games in Serie A and will be spearheading a Catania attack that has not look prolific in front of goal. Morimoto is talented player who can do damage if allowed time and space.
It's a Sicilian derby and passion is going to run high in this fixture. Catania should be hoping for a potential upset and should try and sneak a draw but the hosts have enough firepower to subsume their opponents.
Palermo 2-1 Catania
Subhankar Mondal, Goal.com