Catania v Roma
This is without a doubt one of my least favorite fixtures each year. For some odd reason Catania, though a severely limited team, punches way above their weight at home, and this year is no different. Actually, it may be a bit different: they're punching about seven weight classes above their weight. Eight home fixtures, four dropped points of a possible twenty-four. That's good, for those mathematically challenged. Incredibly good for a squad which only managed to avoid the drop on the ultimate day of the season last year. A day which...nevermind.
Fortunately Catania has only beaten one team of note at home, with a victims list looking a bit something like this: Genoa, Atalanta, Chievo, Palermo, Cagliari & Torino. Not exactly a murderers row, and Genoa was pre-Milito Genoa in August - big, big difference - so maybe no teams of note. More so, their lone home loss was to Udinese (2-0) and the draw a 1-1 sister smooching with Lecce. All of which makes the 6-1-1 a touch less impressive when magnified a bit.
Couple this with the fact that all the big guns who've made this current Roma run what it is will be playing and you see how a Sicilian fortress may still allow a giallorosso win. Doni's groin is feelin' loose, and we know Il Capitano is always feelin' loose, so the entire lot is in Sicily as we speak, ready to do the business.
I suspect Spalletti will go in with a "let's end this year on a high note" speech after all the drama (Calciopoli II, Soros, Il Presidente, AS Hospital Ward, etc) and I suspect they will. Catania will be okay, though. They'll find a way to forget their sorrows and boost morale.
Indisponibili: Pizarro, Panucci, Aquilani, Tonetto, Taddei, Montella.
All I want for Christmas is a first aid kit. A first aid kit. A first aid kit.
Cassetti, Mexes, Juan, Riise
Perrotta, DDR, Brighi
If he was as lightning again on Wednesday as the hype would seem to indicate, Menez may get 90. Other than that, should be the standard.
I predict Catania's home record looks an awful lot more like "playing crappy teams at home" than "fortress". I also predict I will have real, proper posts once the holidays are over. That is, provided I'm not institutionalized in the meantime - as anyone going home for the holidays can empathize. Promise.
Game: 1-0 Roma
Goals: Totti (94)
When: 1500 CET, 0900 EST.
Where: Stadio Angelo Massimino, Catania.
Forecast: 16°C, sunny.