After beating one of the best teams in Italy, Juventus will take on one of the worsts, or at least the most underachieving. On paper, Catania is not a terrible team: they have good players like Andujar, Peruzzi, Spolli, Lodi, Bergessio, Barrientos. But sometimes, when you have a slow start and you end up battling for a different goal from what you were expecting in the pre-season, it’s hard to make the mental switch and have the right spirit.

Much has to do with the transfer market strategy: they lost Gomez, Marchese and Lodi and brought in only one quality player (Peruzzi), who by the way was injured. Lodi came back, but Catania was already in a deep hole at that time. Then, they suffered many injuries to key players (notably Bergessio and Barrientos) and they didn’t have the proper replacements, because the team was badly built.

This, of course, doesn’t mean that it will be easy for Juventus, especially after the great midweek effort. And Catania, like every team, will play the game of its life (just wondering, why don’t they play the game of its life against Livorno, Bologna, Chievo…?)

Catania has won only four games this year (against Lazio, Bologna, Udinese and Chievo), all of them at home, where surprisingly they have lost only three times out of 18 matches (4 wins, 6 draws, 3 losses). At Massimino, they have lost only once in the last five matches, but they also won only once in their last games, combining the home and the away matches. Juventus will find a sold out stadium and a hot atmosphere after the recent controversial matches.

They currently sit in the last position of the table with 20 points (4W 8D 16L). They have the worst attack in Serie A with only 21 goals scored and they also have the worst conversion rate (8.1%). A stat is meaningful to understand the mental struggle of Catania: in the 18 matches they were scored on first, only twice they managed to equalize and lost all the remaining game. A discouraged team.

As always this season, Catania will have some injured players on Sunday: Almiron, Spolli and Castro are unavailable, along with Frison and Cabalceta. Unless Maran fields a more defensive lineup (they have used 3-5-2 in the past), he will probably use 4-3-3 with Peruzzi and Biraghi (or Alvarez) as fullbacks, Rolin (or Legrottaglie) and the brute Bellusci as CBs, Izco (or Plasil), Lodi and Rinaudo in the midfield, Keko-Bergessio-Barrientos as the offensive trident, even though Leto might have a chance. Catania practiced the whole week with closed doors and they are in a press black out so there are not many pieces of informations on the lineup. Barrientos and Bergessio are the players to keep an eye on.

They take many shots per game (12), but few times on target (3). They usually don’t have a lot of possession (average: 45%) and they concede 16 shots per game. They play aggressively and they are good in protecting the lead (well, if they manage to score), but they are not particularly good in defending from set pieces and the often foul in dangerous positions (Pirlo is already smiling and enjoying a good glass of wine).

It could be trap game, sandwiched between the Europa League clash and the game against Parma, which is an excellent team, but if Juve will be 100% focused on the task, we should have no problems in beating them.