Catania vs. Inter Milan preview: Exuberant Elephants can leapfrog inconsistent Inter with a win

Claudio Villa

Catania's great season so far could get better on Sunday, as a victory over faltering Inter would see them leapfrog their more illustrious opponents in the Serie A table and even put themselves in the mix for shock Champions League qualification.

Following last week's 2-1 away victory over Parma, Catania currently sit seventh in the Serie A table, level on points with Fiorentina and just two behind Sunday's opponents Inter. In the race for European qualification, Catania have rather snuck up on the more established sides and if they continue in their current vein of form there is no reason they can't be there or thereabouts at the end of the season. Since the turn of the year, the Elefanti have only lost once and have overcome the likes of Fiorentina and Roma, sides they will need to get the better of in the league table if they want to mix it in the European places. They will take on a wobbling Inter side full of confidence after two straight wins in the league.

After a woeful first half derby display where it looked as if AC Milan may stroll away with the victory, Inter managed to show some steel in the second half and a header from January signing Ezequiel Schelotto was enough to share the points. This display was much needed after their awful showing the previous week, the Nerazzuri on the end of a 4-1 hammering away to Fiorentina. Although they comfortably beat Cluj home and away in the Europa league, Inter's Serie A form in 2013 has been frustrating and just as they looked to have turned the corner with a comfortable victory over Chievo, the performance against Fiorentina followed showing Inter's credentials as a maddeningly inconsistent side. Matters have not been helped this week by a heated training ground bust-up between Andrea Stramaccioni and Antonio Cassano, with reports suggesting the pair had to be separated by first-team coach Ivan Cordoba. As a result of this bust-up, Cassano has been fined and dropped from the matchday squad for this encounter, further exacerbating Inter's chronic lack of strikers.

Catania will miss Giuseppe Bellusci and Nicola Legrottaglie through suspension and key midfielders Sergio Almiron and Pablo Barrientos are major doubts. Inter will be without Cassano as previously mentioned, Diego Milito is out for the season with a ruptured ACL, Yuto Nagatomo injured his knee in training and will miss out whilst Andrea Ranocchia is suspended.

Catania Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Giuseppe Bellusci, Nicola Legrottaglie (suspended). In doubt: Sergio Almiron, Pablo Barrientos, Ciro Capuano, Fabio Sciacca

Inter Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Yuto Nagatomo, Diego Milito, Walter Samuel, Joel Obi, Matias Silvestre, Gaby Mudingayi, Luca Castellazzi (injured), Andrea Ranocchia (suspended).

Match Date/Time: Sunday 3rd March 2013, 15:00 local, 09:00 E.T.

Venue: Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania

TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy), RAI Internazionale, beIN Sport en Espanol (USA)

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