December 16, 2012
Catania v Sampdoria: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.6||0.9|
|Goals against *||0.8||1.5|
|Last 5 home||W-W-D-D-W||W-D-L-L-L|
|Last 5 away||D-D-L-D-L||L-L-D-D-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Catania | Sampdoria|
|3/16||A: Sassuolo||3/16||A: Atalanta|
|3/23||H: Juventus||3/23||H: Hellas Verona|
|3/26||H: Napoli||3/26||A: Sassuolo|
|3/31||A: Udinese||3/30||H: Fiorentina|
|4/6||H: Torino||4/6||A: Lazio|
Sampdoria sporting director Pasquale Sensibile is reluctant to resort to overspending in the January transfer window in a bid to guarantee the club's Serie A survival.
Ciro Ferrara's men have averted disaster, for now, by putting an end to a desperate run of seven straight defeats courtesy of two wins and a creditable 2-2 draw at Fiorentina.
Samp lost at home to Udinese last time out and Sensibile insists it is only through hard work that the Ligurians will retain their top-flight status, starting at Catania tomorrow.
He told Gazzetta.it: "At the moment we are thinking in line with the objectives we set ourselves at the start of the season.
"We said from the outset that Sampdoria would have to try and stay up despite spending as little as possible.
"Catania is a tough place to go but we showed in Florence that we can pull off a good result when we're prepared.''
Midfielder Pedro Mba Obiang has been a revelation at the Stadio Luigi Ferraris this season and Sensibile is eager to keep the 20-year-old Spaniard on board until the end of the season.
"I don't think we can consider allowing his departure in January,'' he added. "The boy is mature enough to understand that he has to grow with Sampdoria this season.
"There have been a lot of enquiries but no firm offers. Obiang's value is very high but if an offer came in that we could not afford to refuse, we would think about it.''
Daniele Gastaldello is suspended for the trip to Sicily, with Maxi Lopez and Juan Antonio facing late fitness checks as Gianni Munari sits the game out through injury.
Confidence is high at the Stadio Angelo Massimino as Rolando Maran's side followed up a much-needed league victory at Siena with a penalty shoot-out success at Parma in the Coppa Italia.
The Elefanti remain in the top half of the table despite inconsistent form and Maran wants his charges to push on.
Speaking in Parma, he said: "This victory raises our awareness of our own capabilities and improves our self-esteem and morale.
"Now we have to find the mental strength and energy to face Sampdoria.''
Maran has serious concerns over personnel, though, with midfielder Sergio Almiron serving a one-match ban as Nicolas Spolli, Mariano Izco, Fabio Sciacca, Marco Biagianti and Adrian Ricchiuti sit out through injury.
Catania have claimed four wins from Samp's last five visits to east Sicily, with the mainlanders' solitary victory in that period coming in August 2009