Catania will be searching for their third successive Serie A victory when they play host to Fiorentina, although their life has been made difficult by the absence of several important players. Viola, on the other hand, will attempt to return to winning ways and this reignite their top 3 bid.
Back to back wins
This season is proving to be very successful for Catania, who have now cemented their place in the top half of the league standings. Team’s excellent record at their Stadio Angelo Massimino has kept them in good stead this season, while the Elephants also started to bring points from their travels. Back to back wins over Roma and Genoa have helped Catania return to the right track following a small dip in form, but I still expect the hosts to face a difficult task against very good Fiorentina side. First of all, the Elephants haven’t been too convincing in home games against top 6 sides, and secondly, they have a number of important missings at the moment. With boss Rolando Maran unable to count on two important midfielders and team’s top scorer, Catania are set to face a tough task in this match, especially seeing that they don’t really have decent replacements for the absentees.
Gonzalo Bergessio and Francesco Lodi are both suspended, whereas Sergio Almiron, Alexis Rolin and Francesco Sciacca are out injured.
David Pizarro returns
Fiorentina opened this season in bright fashion, with new boss Vincenzo Montella doing brilliantly to rebuild the squad at Artemio Franchi after 18 new players arrived in the summer, but the team began to struggle after the short winter break. Straight defeats to Pescara, Udinese and Roma may have been disappointing, but with team’s showings at a pretty good level, Montella was right to believe his side would soon return to the right track. Viola finally ended the dismal run of results as they held title contenders Napoli to a 1-1 draw, with the players restoring some of the lost confidence. However, if Fiorentina want to revive their top 3 challenge they will have to start winning soon, with the match against weakened Catania looking a good opportunity to return to winning ways. Deep-lying playmaker David Pizarro has been sorely missed over the last few weeks, and if he recovers in time, Viola’s chances will be greatly increased.
David Pizarro and Matias Fernandez are both injury doubts, but Giuseppe Rossi, Mounir El Hamdaoui and Ahmed Hegazy are all unavailable.
Catania may have been pretty solid at their Stadio Angelo Massimino this season, but with three star players missing, the hosts could find it hard to match revived Fiorentina. Viola are boosted by the return of David Pizarro and I genuinely believe they can bring all three points from Sicily.
Top pick: Fiorentina Draw no bet 1.80 (4/5) @ Stan James
Alternative pick 1: Under 2.5 goals 1.90 (9/10) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 2: Away win 2.50 (3/2) @ William Hill
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