Catania vs Fiorentina Preview: Sicilians look to spoil Montella's return

Marco Luzzani

Vincenzo Montella returns to his old stomping ground, looking to mastermind Fiorentina’s first win of 2013.

L'Aeroplanino guided Catania to an impressive 11th placed finish in Serie A, before departing to the Artemio Franchi. He now faces arguably his biggest task since taking over his reins, getting his stuttering side back on form.

In stark contrast, Rolando Maran's Catania side are yet to taste a league defeat this year. They even earned a rare away victory last weekend. Before people get carried away though, it was at lowly Genoa. That notwithstanding, the Elefanti now have momentum, something Fiorentina are desperately short of. Had it not been for Morgan De Sanctis' howler, Fiorentina would have tasted defeat against Napoli last weekend.

Stevan Jovetic and Luca Toni - 60 seconds into his Viola comeback put paid to Catania with a 2-0 victory back in Week 3. Fiorentina have got something out of this fixture in four of their last six visits, with three wins and a draw. However, it was Catania who won this fixture last season, thanks to Francesco Lodi's solitary penalty.

Fiorentina can see the Champions League slipping further away, as they currently trail Lazio and Napoli by seven points. Catania are hot on their opponents' tails, just four points behind in 8th.

The home side have relied on their three Argentinean tenors - Gonzalo Bergessio, Alejandro Gomez and Pablo Barrientos until the cows have come home. However, Bergessio will sit this game out through suspension, along with Lodi. Meanwhile, Sergio Almiron, Fabio Sciacca and Giovanni Marchese all look set to miss out through injury. The club signed Albanian Edgar Cani to serve as Bergessio's understudy this week, but are still waiting for international clearance to come through.

Giuseppe Rossi and Ahmed Hegazi are still long term absentees for the Viola, while a sprained ankle suffered at the start of the year against Pescara also keeps David Pizarro out. Both Matias Fernandez and Mattia Cassani are back in training and could feature on Sunday.

South American pair Matias Vecino and Marcelo Larrondo will be looking for their first action in a purple shirt. Uruguayan midfielder Vecino joined this week from Nacional Montevideo, while Argentine forward Larrondo joined on loan last week from Siena.

Catania injuries and suspensions

Out: Sergio Almiron, Fabio Sciacca, Giovanni Marchese (injured) Francesco Lodi, Gonzalo Bergessio (suspended)

Fiorentina injuries and suspensions

Out: Ahmed Hegazy, David Pizarro, Giuseppe Rossi (injured)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 27th January 2013 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 3 (Italy)

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