Catania hoping to avoid fourth-straight defeat

Struggling Catania will look to avoid their fourth successive defeat when they host Hellas Verona on Saturday.

Pablo Barrientos, Catania

The Sicilian outfit have won just one of their last nine league games and lie at the foot of the Serie A standings, five points from safety.

Last weekend's 2-0 defeat at Sampdoria was another psychological blow for Luigi De Canio's men, who nevertheless put on a good display.

"We must leave behind our defeat in Genoa and concentrate on taking a positive result against Hellas," De Canio said.

"It will not be easy because the team's morale is low.

"To lose game after game is demoralising for the players. But the team have to start gaining confidence and belief in their quality if we are to come out of this situation.

"We have to become a solid team and to stop giving away so many goals."

Since replacing Rolando Maran on October 20 at the helm of Catania, De Canio has guided the islanders to just one win in seven league games.

Catania will need to show a vast improvement, especially in defence, having given away nine goals in their last three games.

Opponents Hellas halted a run of four successive defeats with a come-from-behind 2-1 victory against Atalanta last time out.

The result was their seventh win in eight league games at the Marc' Antonio Bentegodi stadium this season and lifted the Verona outfit to sixth place.

"It was important for us to return to victory," Hellas coach Andrea Mandorlini said.

"I compliment my players because they showed the right fighting spirit against Atalanta. Now we must continue on this path."

Hellas travel to Sicily looking for their second win on the road this season.

Mandorlini's side have taken just four of their current 25 points away from home.

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