Struggling Pescara aim to record their second home win in a row and thus finally leave the relegation zone, but that is not going to be an easy task. Catania arrive at Stadio Adriatico searching for their fifth successive victory in all competitions and third in the Serie A campaign.
Five defeats in nine home games
Pescara were always going to have problems this season after key players Marco Verratti, Lorenzo Insigne and Ciro Immobile all left the club during off season. Club chiefs gave their best to sign decent replacements for the star trio, but apart from Quintero and Weiss, other new signings have failed to prove they have what it takes to play at this level. As a result, Pescara have been struggling from the very start to the league campaign and I still see them as the main candidates for the drop. Team’s 3-1-5 home record is bad as it is, but when we take into account that Delfini have beaten fellow strugglers Palermo and Genoa at their Stadio Adriatico, we will see they have lost five of seven games against teams outside the danger zone. Having also lost six of their last seven Serie A fixtures, Delfini will have their work cut out for them against in-form Catania.
Luca Savelloni, Manuele Blasi, Uros Cosic, Giuseppe Colucci, Emmanuel Cascione and Simone Romagnoli all miss out through injury.
Catania on fire
Having always been referred to as one of the best home sides in the elite division, Catania did well to justify the tag this season, picking up 19 points from 9 home games in Serie A. Excellent home form was probably the main reason why the Elephants climbed to eighth place in the overall standings, but it is important to note Rolando Maran’s side have shown a massive improvement on the travels as well. While sharing spoils with Roma, Udinese and Cagliari on the road, Catania recorded their first away win of the season as they beat Siena in the league before seeing off Parma at Ennio Tardini in Coppa Italia. Meanwhile, the Elephants defeated Cittadella and Sampdoria at home, meaning they are now on a four-match winning run and very motivated to further improve their away record by beating weak Pescara.
Star striker Gonzalo Bergessio is out with a foot problem, but important midfielder Sergio Almiron and Alejando Gomez return to the side. Marco Biagianti and Francesco Sciacca are out injured, while Amidu Salifu is doubtful.
Having lost six of their last seven league games, Pescara will be low on confidence and with the hosts missing quite a few first team regulars, they will find it hard to match high-flying Catania. The Elephants are clearly on top of their game at the moment and this will be an excellent opportunity for the second successive victory on the road.
Top pick: Away win 2.25 (5/4) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Over 2.5 goals 2.00 (1/1) @ Paddy Power
Alternative pick 2: Catania to score two or more 2.30 (13/10) @ Coral