Juventus vs. Catania, Preview: Dr. Maran leads the Elefanti to Turin to try and revive title race

Maurizio Lagana

Rolando Maran's Catania have been one of the surprise packages of Serie A this season, and they are still in the hunt for European qualification. Standing in their way here; it's only league leaders Juventus.

Catania haven't won away on their travels to Turin since 2009, and that was before Juventus got good. If you needed evidence for that, Amauri was playing for them back then. Now the elefanti's task is obviously a lot harder, though with Rolando Maran's team enjoying such a good season, they'll be out for revenge after they were beaten controversially by the bianconeri on home soil in October.

That day Lady luck gave her Old Lady friend a helping hand, when Catania had a goal disallowed incorrectly for an offside, before Arturo Vidal notched the winner in the second half on a goal which was allowed, but which should have been ruled out for offside.

Unfortunately Catania haven't been as strong on the road as at the Massimino this season, struggling with the same Sicilian homesickness which their cross-island rivals Palermo have suffered for the last few years. Juventus are strong at home, and have been beaten there just twice all season -- though they're certainly not infallible.

However, their draw against Napoli last week was pretty much enough to seal their second consecutive Scudetto, even if they've only won one of their last three. They sit six points clear of a stuttering Napoli, who'll be crossing their fingers for a miracle in Turin.

Juventus have an almost full-strength team available, with only Arturo Vidal out. The Chilean is, surprise surprise, suspended. Paul Pogba should slot right into the centre of midfield.

There's excellent news in that winger Pablo Barrientos has been called to the Catania squad after recovering from injury, though the winger will likely take his place on the bench as Maran shifts to a 3-5-2 to mirror Juve's shape. Unfortunately top scorer Gonzalo Bergessio and Ciro Capuano are unavailable, while centre-back Nicola Legrottaglie will miss this game against his former club through suspension.

Juventus Injuries and Suspensions

Arturo Vidal (suspended)

Catania Injuries and Suspensions

Gonzalo Bergessio, Ciro Capuano (injured); Nicola Legrottaglie (suspended)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 10th March 2013, 3 p.m. local, 9 p.m. E.T.

Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy), RAI Internazionale, beIN SPORT (U.S.)



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