Catania vs. Inter Milan preview: Inter looking to kick on whilst Catania search for kick-start

Maurizio Lagana

Catania and Inter got off to contrasting starts to their respective seasons, the Elefanti going down 2-1 to Fiorentina whereas Inter were 2-0 victors over Genoa.

Fresh from finishing above Inter in last season's campaign, hopes are high in Catania that the Elefanti will be able to improve yet again and even trouble the European places for the first time in their history. A strong tradition of Argentine players at the club was cultivated under Diego Simeone and Vincenzo Montella and Rolando Maran has admirably carried it on, naming no less than nine Argentinians in his XI for the match against Fiorentina, only Panagiotis Tachtsidis (Greece) and Giuseppe Bellusci (Italian) bucked the trend, helped on by the return from loan of Maxi López and the summer signings of Sebastián Leto and Fabian Monzón. They acquitted themselves well against a talented Fiorentina side themselves looking at Champions League qualification last week and although they ended up with no points, it was nevertheless an encouraging start. One thing is for sure: Inter will hold no fear after Catania managed to finish above them in last year's final Serie A standings.

Walter Mazzarri's first league game in charge of Inter ended with a largely comfortably 2-0 victory although for a lot of the first half, Inter rarely threatened. It was only after the introduction of summer addition Mauro Icardi that Inter really appeared to kick into gear and although he didn't make it on to the scoresheet himself, he was most certainly the spark behind the eventual victory. Having featured prominently in pre-season and in Inter's Coppa Italia victory over Citadella, it was a little strange that Icardi was sacrificed for another midfielder in Zdravko Kuzmanovic however given his impact, we should expect to see the youngster playing from the start here. After the horrors of last season, Inter fans will have been encouraged to see the side playing with a bit of confidence and the defence largely working well, although Genoa offered little in attack to test the defence out, and they should be given a much more stringent workover by the Catania attackers.

Inter are still without long-term absentees Diego Milito, Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu and captain Javier Zanetti, whilst McDonald Mariga joins them in the treatment room after his return from loan at Parma. For Catania, Gino Peruzzi will definitely be sidelined whilst question marks hang over Sergio Almirón and Ciro Capuano who both missed the defeat to Fiorentina.

Catania injuries and suspensions

Out: Gino Peruzzi (injured). In doubt: Ciro Capuano, Sergio Almirón, Federico Friere.

Inter injuries and suspensions

Out: Diego Milito, McDonald Mariga, Javier Zanetti, Walter Samuel, Cristian Chivu (injured).

Projected lineups

Catania: Andújar, Álvarez, Spolli, Bellusci, Monzón, Izco, Barrientos, Tachtsidis, Leto, Castro, Bergessio

Inter: Handanovic, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, Campagnaro, Jonathan, Cambiasso, Guarín, Nagatomo, Álvarez, Icardi, Palacio

Match date/time: Sunday 1st September 2013 at 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 ET

Venue: Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania

TV: Sky Calcio 2 (Italy)

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