Ariaudo calls on Sassulo to get vital Catania win

Sassuolo may not have a better opportunity to climb towards Serie A safety than when they host fellow strugglers Catania, according to defender Lorenzo Ariaudo.

Everyone waiting for the injured man to get up.

The promoted side currently prop up the table with only 18 points earned from their 27 games and, given they have won just once in their last 14 games, reigning in 17th-placed Bologna - five points better off - appears a daunting task.

But the return of coach Eusebio Di Francesco after a brief and miserable period under Alberto Malesani's stewardship saw Sassuolo claim their first clean sheet of the new year at Bologna last time out, while Sicilian side Catania are only two points ahead in 19th ahead of Sunday's meeting at the Stadio Citta del Tricolore.

Sassuolo's daunting run-in features games against the likes Juventus, Roma and Fiorentina and centre-back Ariaudo is therefore urging his team-mates to make the most of this weekend's relegation six-pointer.

He told the Gazzetta dello Sport: "Against Catania we will give it absolutely everything, just like we will in the other 10 'cup finals' we have from now until the end of the season.

"But this game against Catania is incredibly important."

The absence of top-scorer Domenico Berardi through suspension gives Di Francesco cause for concern, however, while Aleandro Rosi, Emanuele Terranova, Thomas Manfredini, Reto Ziegler and Francesco Acerbi are out injured.

Catania, who are without the injured duo of Lucas Castro and Sergio Almiron, recently put a four-match unbeaten run together but results have dropped off and Rolando Maran's men are now winless in three attempts.

Elefanti defender Nicolas Spolli believes the battle to avoid the drop involves six clubs and he echoed Ariaudo's comments about the significance of Sunday's clash in Reggio Emilia.

"This will be the most important match in our recent history, we have to take this step forward to save ourselves," he told Gazzetta.

"We believe in ourselves, we are on the right track in a mini-championship involving five or six clubs."



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