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This weekend the two Sicilian sides face off against the two Rome clubs as Lazio host high flying Catania and Roma travel to struggling Palermo. The rivalry between the two Rome clubs is as fierce as ever and with both teams level on the same amount of points the gap between the sides is also as close as ever. This seemed unlikely not too long ago; however Roma’s resurgence in recent weeks after Zdenek Zeman’s sacking has coincided with a slump in form from Lazio which has seen them lose their last three games in a row and slide down from 3rd to 7th in the Serie A table.

The tight competition between the Rome sides could not be of more contrast to the vast gap in fortunes between the Sicilian pair of Catania and Palermo. While Palermo continue to struggle and languish in joint bottom position in the table, Catania are enjoying their best season in many years and are currently 8th in the table only 2 points behind both Roma and their upcoming opponents Lazio.

After finishing ahead of rivals Palermo last season for the first time in almost a decade under Vincenzo Montella, there was a fear that his good work could come undone after the coach left in the summer to take over at Fiorentina, however his replacement Rolando Maran has come in and kept the momentum going and Catania are now in contention for a Europa League place for next season.

This weekend’s games could prove to be exciting encounters due to what is at stake with Catania, Lazio and Roma fighting for Europa League places while Palermo are simply fighting for survival. Palermo could be boosted by the return from injury of attacking talisman Fabrizio Miccoli against Roma however he has not been his usual self this season and part of the reason why the team find themselves in the position they are in. Roma meanwhile have no problems on the attacking front with a wealth of options available with Pablo Osvaldo enjoying a good season, the youthful flair of the exciting Erik Lamela and of course the experience and excellence of Mr Roma himself Francesco Totti.

Catania’s trip to Lazio also has the potential for a great game with both teams at points this season showing their ability to play good football and score goals. Most of Catania’s best attacking play this season has been built around their inspirational midfielder Francesco Lodi and attacking duo Alejando Gomez and Pablo Barrientos. Lazio meanwhile also have their attacking talents and own playmaker in the form of Brazilian Hernanes, however they have been lacking a cutting edge lately since the injury layoff of striker Miroslav Klose.

With great attacking talent on show in both games, this weekend’s clashes between the Capitalistas and Southerners look set to be exciting viewing in Serie A.

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