AS Roma vs. Catania: Preview and TV schedule

Marco Luzzani

Roma will look to return to winning ways and close the gap to league leaders Juventus by beating basement side Catania on Sunday.

AS Roma started the Serie A season like a house on fire, though in recent weeks they've gone from winning everything to barely being able to win at all. Admittedly, they're the only team in the league yet to lose, but when you're in a title race, drawing just about every game isn't much good. Fortunately against Catania this weekend they really ought to be able to record only their second win in six matches.

Catania are no longer a mid-table force to be reckoned with, or playing some of the most exciting football in the entire league. The fun-loving elefanti of the last few seasons are now but a distant memory; replaced by a side sitting rock bottom of the table. What's more, the Sicilians have lost every single one of their Serie A away matches -- and it's highly unlikely they're going to be able to turn that around at the Olimpico.

That's despite the fact that Roma will be missing a big chunk of their midfield in this match, with both Daniele De Rossi and Kevin Strootman out through suspension. They're not the deepest in this area, though coach Rudi Garcia will likely decide between Alessandro Florenzi and Rodrigo Taddei to join fellow backup Michael Bradley alongside Miralem Pjanić.

For Catania, defender Nicolás Spolli is out through suspension, and will be sidelined alongside the injured Giuseppe Bellusci and Sergio Almirón. Look for Gigi Di Canio to set the elefanti up defensively and use the talent and mobility of their inside forwards Lucas Castro and Pablo Barrientos to create chances on the counter. However, given that they've scored only ten goals all season, they're going to find it difficult to have any attacking joy. Warning: this game may not be pretty.

AS Roma injuries and suspensions

Out: Federico Balzaretti, Gianluca Caprari, Marco Borriello (injured); Daniele De Rossi, Kevin Strootman (suspended). In doubt: None.

Catania injuries and suspensions

Out: Juan Zuñiga, Marek Hamšik, Giandomenico MestoPaolo Cannavaro (injured). In doubt: None.

Projected lineups

AS Roma: Morgan De Sanctis; Dodô, Leandro Castán, Mehdi Benatia, Vasilis Torosidis; Rodrigo Taddei, Michael Bradley, Miralem Pjanić; Gervinho, Francesco Totti, Alessandro Florenzi.

Catania: Alberto Frison; Cristiano Biraghi, Alexis Rolín, Nicola Legrottaglie, Gino Peruzzi; Jaroslav Plašil, Tiberio Guarente, Mariano Izco; Pablo Barrientos, Gonzalo Bergessio, Lucas Castro.

Match Date/Time: Sunday, 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy

TV: beIN Sport en Español (U.S. - Spanish), Sky Calcio 2, Premium Calcio 2 (Italy)

Online: beIN Sport Play (U.S. and Canada)

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