Both teams secured important wins last weekend, with Catania coming back to defeat Cagliari 2-1 at home and now we travel to Sicily in hopes of continuing our good form. Catania is always a difficult team to play away, but we actually have a bit of history on our side. Since both teams were promoted to Serie A at the end of 2005-2006, we have not lost in Catania. In fact, the last time we lost to Catania in Serie A was in 1971, though we lost twice to them (both at their place in Serie B). Last season saw a 2-1 victory for us in this tie with goals from Diana and Di Michele.
History aside though, we will definitely have be careful of Catania. They haven't scored many goals (11, just one more than we have), but their defense is miserly, and with our scoring troubles, it will be tough to score against them. Their goalkeeper, Bizzarri isn't the greatest, but their defense is well organized.
The good news for us is that Sereni will most likely be back in goal and Pratali back in defense, though Malonga, Abate, and Corini are still injured and Natali is doubtful. Right now Gazzetta has Bianchi and Rosina still on the bench, but my guess is that at least one, if not both of them will start. Rosina showed glimpses of what he can do against Palermo and Bianchi is working hard to push out Stellone, who has dropped off a bit after his goal against Atalanta. Right now the predicted lineup is:
Amoruso - Stellone
Zanetti - Barone - Dzemaili - Colombo
Rubin - Pratali - Di Loreto - Diana
While I would like to see (with Di Loreto if Natali is not fit in time):
Amoruso - Bianchi
Säumel - Dzemaili - Zanetti
Rubin - Pratali - Natali - Diana
It is clear I think that the 4-4-2 is proving to be more effective than the Christmas tree formation even though we have rarely been using two (if any) natural wingers in the side midfield positions.
For Catania we can expect a 4-3-3:
Mascara - Paolucci - Martinez
Tedesco - Ledesma - Biagianti
Alvarez - Silvestre - Stovini - Sardo
Given the way the two teams play, it seems a 0-0 draw would be the most realistic prediction, though a win is always possible! FORZA TORO!!!