November 30, 2012
Catania v AC Milan: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.6||1.8|
|Goals against *||0.8||1.3|
|Last 5 home||W-W-D-D-W||D-W-W-D-W|
|Last 5 away||D-D-L-D-L||W-W-L-D-W|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Catania | AC Milan|
|12/22||A: AS Roma||12/22||A: Internazionale|
|1/6||H: Bologna||1/6||H: Atalanta|
|1/12||A: Atalanta||1/12||A: Sassuolo|
|1/19||H: Fiorentina||1/19||H: Hellas Verona|
|1/26||A: Internazionale||1/26||A: Cagliari|
AC Milan head coach Massimiliano Allegri is demanding a positive result against a Catania side desperate to avenge last week's derby defeat.
Rossoneri president Silvio Berlusconi visited the club's Milanello training ground today to offer further words of encouragement to a rejuvenated Milan side that beat Juventus 1-0 on Sunday.
But Rolando Maran's Catania are in no mood to roll over and allow Milan to leapfrog them in the Serie A table, with last week's 3-1 loss to fierce rivals Palermo seriously wounding the Rossazzurri's pride.
Allegri told acmilan.com: "Tomorrow's match will be difficult. We face a Catania side that has picked up almost all of its points at home and, on the back of losing a derby, it will be a hostile environment.
"It is crucial for our league campaign. We can't underestimate anyone so we have to play good football with intensity and focus. We need to stay focused on picking up as many points as possible in the league.
"Catania are one point ahead of us and we have two away games now so we need to pick up some points. We have to get something from them.
"The team still believe in themselves, we are only in November and we'll try to go on a run and see where we end up in May.''
Unlike last week, Berlusconi left Milanello today without delivering a rousing speech, but Allegri appreciates the former Italian prime minister's involvement.
"President Berlusconi's presence at Milanello is always positive,'' Allegri added. "I talked with him about the team and the games that lie ahead.
"I would not say that the worst is behind us. By February we will be much better than we are now and we will be in a better position in the league.''
Allegri may be in high spirits but Milan's list of absentees makes for grim reading. Alexandre Pato, Ignazio Abate, Daniele Bonera and Luca Antonini are just a few first-team players currently nursing injuries, with Mario Yepes serving a one-match ban.
Maran is indeed looking for a concerted effort from his Catania players, saying: "We can emerge from the derby better than ever.
"We need to remember what we have done so far, and not forget the good things that have happened.
"We have spirit and quality, and that will be essential when we face Milan. We have to take to the field with the right mentality.''
Maran hopes to have striker Gonzalo Bergessio fit for tomorrow, but Nicolas Spolli and Alejandro Gomez are suspended.