Catania vs AS Roma, Preview: Don't bet on this one being scoreless

Maurizio Lagana

Fasten your seatbelts Calcio fans. Two sides with reckless abandon collide for our viewing pleasure in Sicily.

Never ones to disappoint, the last five meetings between these two teams have produced no fewer than 20 goals. Zdenek Zeman doesn't know the meaning of the word ultra defensive, so his gameplan will be to attack, attack, attack. The fact that Roma's last two league games have produced 11 goals lends further credence to this point.

Both sides opened the season with a thrilling 2-2 draw at the Stadio Olimpico, but haven't begun the New Year as they would have hoped.

Catania were surprisingly stifled by a stalemate at Torino last weekend, but did play almost 80 minutes with ten men after Francesco Lodi's dismissal. The Elefanti were then comprehensively beaten by Lazio 3-0 in the Coppa Italia in midweek.

Roma haven't fared much better, beginning 2013 with a 4-1 thumping at Napoli, leaving them trailing the European places in sixth.

Six points separate both teams in the standings, but recent meetings favour the Sicilians, as the Giallorossi have failed to win on their last six visits to the Massimino.

Much of Catania's success this season is due to their home form. Out of their ten games hosted so far, the Sicilians have won six and drawn two. Only Milan and Juventus have emerged with victories.

Amidu Salifu is expected to come in to cover for Lodi, while Mariano Andujar will re-take the goalkeeping gloves, after young understudy Alberto Frison was given a game in midweek.

Roma look set to keep faith with young custodian Mauro Goicoechea, despite him shipping four goals last weekend, keeping experienced shot stopper Maarten Stekelenburg on the sidelines.

Both sides are expected to stick with their trident attacks, with Mattia Destro possibly getting the nod over Pablo Osvaldofor the Giallorossi.

Francesco Totti is a doubt with a thigh strain and a fever could also rule out Marquinhos.

Catania injuries and suspensions

Out: Fabio Sciacca, Marco Biagianti, Pablo Alvarez (injured), Francesco Lodi (suspended)

AS Roma injuries and suspensions

Out: Miralem Pjanic (suspended)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 13th January 2013 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania, Italy

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