Catania hope to cement their place in the top half of the standings with what would be a fourth triumph in a row, that is if we count Coppa Italia win over Parma after penalties. Sampdoria ended their three-match unbeaten run as they were beaten at home by Udinese and they cannot really expect to return to winning ways at Stadio Angelo Massimino.
Catania continue to impress
Catania have long ago became famous for their scintillating showings at Stadio Angelo Massimino and the team have done well to justify all the praise this season. While beating Genoa, Atalanta, Parma, Lazio and Chievo, the Elephants were beaten at home by both Juventus and Milan, but their opponents needed a big help from the referees to win maximum points in Sicily. On the other hand, Catania have also showed a considerable improvement on the road, proving they are slowly becoming a genuine top table side in Serie A. Rolando Maran’s side appear to be in very good form at the moment, with Coppa Italia triumphs over Cittadella and Parma, either side of an away win over Siena in the league, making sure the player go into the Sampdoria game full of confidence.
Midfielder Sergio Almiron misses out through suspension, while Marco Biagianti is doubtful with a foot injury.
Tough task for Sampdoria
After the team ensured promotion to Serie A, Sampdoria chiefs opted against a major squad overhaul, although the likes of Enzo Maresca, Maxi Lopez, Castellini and De Silvestri were signed to help the more inexperienced players. Such an approach proved very good as Sampdoria quickly escaped the danger zone, although it appears this team lack the quality to match most of the top table sides in Serie A. Ciro Ferrara’s side also tend to struggle on the travels, although their four-match losing run on the road ended as they brought one point from Artemio Franchi. On top of that, star striker Maxi Lopez is being sorely missed, with youngster Mauro Icardi clearly lacking experience to make a difference up front. All things considered, Sampdoria will struggle to get something from this game.
Captain Daniele Gastaldello is suspended, while Maxi Lopez misses out through injury. Eder, Juan Antonio and Gianni Munari are all injury doubts.
Catania usually have no problems beating bottom table sides at their Stadio Angelo Massimino, while the Elephants also appear to be in a very good form. Sampdoria, on the other hand, are showing signs of travel sickness, while the visitors will also be missing several very important players.
Top pick: Home win 1.85 (17/20) @ Ladbrokes
Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals 2.20 (6/5) @ Coral
Alternative pick 2: Both teams to score 2.00 (1/1) @ William Hill