It's been a rough few months for both Catania and Lazio, but both sides are finally starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Both clubs have seen the error in their fickle ways, dismissing their coaches and bringing back managers they thought they were better without.
Under Edy Reja, the biancocelesti are still far away from anything that resembles entertaining football, but at least they are getting results. Since the manager returned, Lazio are undefeated in the league, going six games without a loss, including drawing Juventus and holding rivals Roma to a goalless stalemate last weekend.
A win against the last-placed side would go even further toward proving that Lazio are back in business. Reja has almost a full squad to choose from, including Lucas Biglia, who is back from suspension and will take his spot next to Cristian Ledesma in midfield. Etrit Berisha will once again be starting over Federico Marchetti between the sticks. We still won't see newcomer Helder Postiga, on loan from Valencia, as the striker picked up an injury in training.
Under Gigi De Canio, Catania dropped from 17th to 20th, so the elefanti sacked him after just three months, bringing back Rolando Maran. The manager has yet to make a huge impact, although for Catania, a string of three unbeaten games - including one game featuring three goals scored - seems like a huge accomplishment.Catania remain dead last in Serie A, and it’s difficult to see them pulling off a surprise win against a Lazio side that’s been undefeated since Edy Reja returned to town.
If that unbeaten run isn't enough, the elefanti will cling to the fact that, since they returned to Serie A seven years ago, they've been much more successful than Lazio at home. Lazio aren't big fans of southern travel, with Catania notching six wins and a draw from those seven attempts. But that was a Catania side that knew how to win a football match. This poor, struggling Catania is far from threatening. Their task against Lazio is made harder by the fact that midfielder Sergio Almirón and winger Sebastián Leto have knocks and almost certainly won't start. Maran, without many options, will be forced to rely upon the Francesco Lodi - Gonzalo Bergessio connection to create anything up front.
Catania injuries and suspensions:
Alberto Frison (injured); Sergio Almirón and Sebastian Leto (in doubt)
Lazio injuries and suspensions:
Helder Postiga, Ederson and Emiliano Alfaro (injured)
Projected line ups:
Match Date/Time: Sunday, February 6 at 12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET.
Venue: Stadio Angelo Massimino (Catania)
TV: beIN Sports Play, RAI Internazionale (USA), BT Sport 1 (UK), Premium Calcio, Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)