This Coppa Italia Last 16 stage clash will see both managers rest their star players and give some fringe players a chance to shine, but that doesn’t mean the two sides won’t give their best to win this game and make it to the next round. Based on the expected line-ups, Parma can be seen as slight favourites.
Two unlucky defeats
Parma have done brilliantly to transform themselves from relegation strugglers to genuine top table side over the last two years and it is only a matter of time before il Ducali will be challenging for European places. Boosted by the amazing finish of the previous campaign, seven wins in a row, and heavy summer recruitment, Roberto Donadoni’s side enjoyed a great start to the season and they are still going strong. The impressive run during which Parma picked up 14 points from 7 league games came to an end as Il Ducali were defeated at Lazio and Atalanta, but it is important to note they had been the better team in both of those matches. Even if boss Donadoni is now expected to rest several first team regulars, Parma should have more than enough quality in the side to win this game and there are no doubts they will be very motivated to get back to the right track.
Daniele Galloppa remains the only unavailable player, but Rafa Palladino, Ishak Belfodil and Darlon Pabon should all start.
First away win for Catania
Catania have long ago established themselves as one of the strongest home sides in the elite division and they have done well to justify the tag this season. If we disregard the games against title contenders, the Elephants have won every other game at their Massimino, although their away showings leave a lot to be desired. It took Rolando Maran’s side eight games to record their first win on the travels, and we really cannot expect them to make it two in a row now. With Serie A campaign clearly a priority at the moment, boss Maran is expected to rest most of his starters against Parma, but the problem is that his back-up players are not nearly as good enough as those that will be on the other side of the pitch. Everybody knows that Catania’s first choice line-up can mix it up even with the best of them in Serie A, but their second-string side lack both quality and experience to match a team like Parma.
Keko, Sciacca, Spolli and Biagianti remain sidelined, but Mariano Izco has resumed full training. Out of the first team regulars, only Almiron and Barrientos are expected to start.
Parma are very motivated to return to winning ways and being in a pretty good form, il Ducali can be expected to see off severely weakened Catania. The Elephants arrive at Ennio Tardini with a very weak squad that cannot be trusted to make it to the next round.
Top pick: Home win 2.25 (5/4) @ William Hill
Alternative pick 1: Parma to qualify 1.62 (5/8) @ bet365
Alternative pick 2: Under 2.5 goals 1.80 (4/5) @ BetVictor