Serie A Week 31 - 11/4/09 (14.00 UK)
Torino - Catania
Giancarlo Camolese’s side desperately need a win. After going on a seven match unbeaten run through late January and February they have now gone four games on the trot without picking up a point. That run leaves them ditched in the relegation zone and gasping for air. With just one goal in the last 450 minutes of Serie A football a major shift in fortunes are needed this weekend.
Walter Zenga and his Catania boys have had a reasonable run in recent weeks, picking up 10 points from the last 18 available. They will be confident travelling north to Turin that they can collect what should be, on paper, three easy points.
The first meeting of the 2007-08 season was a real humdinger. After just six minutes the visitors went ahead through a Riccardo Colombo tap-in but before the interval Giuseppe Mascara had rattled in two goals to give the Elefantini a halftime lead. After the interval oranges had been passed round a rush of citric acid caused Cristian Terlizzi to bring down Colombo in the box and Nicola Amoruso equalised with a dot-shot. However, Mascara had one last trick up his sleeve and completed his hat-trick to give the home side the win.
Last term the match ended level. French striker Dominique Malonga opened the scoring at the Stadio Olimpico after 15 minutes but Jorge Martinez bagged a leveller, and a share of the spills, with his 64th minute goal.
Since their return to Serie A Catania have faced the Granata on five occasions. Their win earlier this season was the only one so far, in both the 2006-07 and 2007-08 campaigns there was a draw and a Torino win.
Elvis Abbruscato continues his long-term recovery from injury and will have welcomed some company in the treatment room. This week he has been joined by Austrian midfielder Jurgen Saumel and Nigerian striker Nsofor Ogbonna. Catania have a full complement to choose from, aside from young midfielder Andrea D’Amico – who is out injured.
Keep an eye on: Giuseppe Mascara (Catania) – The Catania striker can pull a goal out of nothing and seemingly from anywhere on the pitch. Should the Sicilians be struggling to break down Toro watch them get the ball to Mascara and see him run.
Form Guide: Torino (D L L L L) Catania (W L D W L)
Last season: Torino 1-1 Catania
Torino (probable): Sereni; Franceschini, Natali, Rivalta; Rubin, Dzemaili, Corini, Abate, Diana; Bianchi; Ventola
Catania (probable): Bizzarri; Capuano, Silvestre, Stovini, Potenza; Tedesco, Biagianti, Ledesma, Baiocco; Paolucci, Mascara
Ref: To follow.