Match Preview: Inter Aim To Return To Winning Ways At Catania

CATANIA
vs
INTERNAZIONALE

Stadio Angelo Massimino
Friday 12th March 2010 – 19:45 GMT

FIGC’s directive to help all Italian clubs in CL will see this game advanced to Friday night. This is to allow Inter an extra day’s rest before taking on the might of Chelsea.

CATANIA
Current Position: 15th, 28 points
Current Form:
DWDLWD

A disastrous start to the league saw the club getting only 9 points in first 15 games. Coach Gianluca Atzori was sacked in December and Sinisa Mihajlovic who served as assistant to Roberto Mancini, was brought in as a replacement. After a few rounds of struggle, Mihajlovic has finally steadied the ship. Catania are now 5 points clear of relegation zone in 15th place. They should have won last week at Cagliari, but paid the price for lack of concentration allowing Cagliari to snatch an equalizer. With Mihajlovic still holding a grudge against his former employers due to the manner in which he was sacked, he will look to put them on mat. In Catania director Pietro Lo Monaco, Mourinho had his first of the many verbal fights in the peninsula.

INTERNAZIONALE:
Current Position:
1st, 59 points
Current Form:
DDDWWD

Since the return fixtures began in end of January, Inter have been struggling for form. Of the 8 games played since Jan 20th, Inter have drawn 5 and won three. For the first time in more than a decade they have failed to score in two consecutive home games.

Esteban Cambiasso will return from his suspension, while Christian Chivu is still recuperating from his skull fracture. Santon and Materazzi are battling to be fit in time.

Jose Mourinho will continue to be in the stands serving the last of his 3 game ban received for the infamous handcuff gesture. This means that Beppe Baresi will once again be in the box.

With an unarguably more important game coming up the following midweek, Mourinho will be looking to rest some key players as fatigue was clearly visible during the home game against Genoa. This would mean that Lucio and Milito will most likely be rested. If Santon is fit, Maicon could start from the bench too. One among Sneijder and Stankovic should also start in bench with Quaresma likely to get a rare start.

TheHardTackle’s FLASHBACK
INTERNAZIONALE 2-1 CATANIA
Guiseppe Meazza – October 24 2009
Goals from Muntari and Sneijder gave Inter a healthy lead in first half. Giuseppe Mascara pulled one back in 83rd minute to give a Inter few jitters at the end.

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TheHardTackle’s PLAYERS TO WATCH
Mario Balotelli  (Internazionale)
The talent he possesses is undeniable but his attitude is always a question mark. He is looking to impress Lippi which might get the best out of him.

TheHardTackle’s PREDICTION
CATANIA 1-2 INTERNAZIONALE
With Roma and Milan closing the gap on Inter continuously, Inter are desperate for three points. This is a perfect opportunity to stretch the lead before their rivals play. Even a depleted Inter side should prevail over Catania.

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