Club Focus – Lecce – Pasta and points on the menu as Catania visit the Via Del Mare for Sunday lunch

Lecce Players 30092010Lecce’s Sunday lunch date with Catania is the club’s most important fixture of the season. After last weekend’s heartbreak in Palermo, Luigi De Canio’s men want to make amends against Sicily’s other major footballing force where they will be without their inspirational skipper Guillermo Giacomazzi.
The 33-year-old midfielder is serving a one match ban for his sending off against the Rosanero. The disappointment after Sunday’s 2-2 draw at the Stadio Renzo Barbera was there for all to see but the Salentini must put all that behind them at the start of a make or break month for the club.
De Canio could welcome back Uruguayan striker Javier Chevanton for the visit of Gli Elefanti. After missing the trip to Sicily through injury, he has responded well to treatment and has joined the rest of the squad in training this week. Another player who looked doubtful for Sunday’s big clash was midfielder Giuseppe Vivas. He picked up a knock earlier in the week but it seems that he will be available for selection come match day.
Big defender Andrea Rispoli told the club’s official website this week that the team needs to keep concentrating right until the final whistle explaining that : “At Palermo I started my first ever top-flight game but we had a massive regret at the end when we conceded a goal in the final minute. The squad is growing but we must keep our focus throughout the entire game.”
He then went on to give his thoughts on his early experiences playing in Serie A : “At the start of the season, no team has hit top form and that has been a help to us. We have a fantastic coach and we are learning many new ideas from him, now we must demonstrate that we deserve to be in this league”.
Algerian midfielder Djamel Mesbah is only too aware of the importance Sunday’s big game. He spoke to the club’s official website and gave his frank assessment of just where he thinks the squad is at : “On a scale of one to 10 I think we are around the six to seven mark at this moment. In Palermo we gave a great display but only came away with a point. The way we played shows just how much the team is growing and the hard work we have put in on the training ground is now paying off.”
Mesbah then responded to questions on just where is his best position in the central area : “Since the start of the season, my role has been to protect our back four and I have now got accustomed to this position. I feel comfortable wherever the coach wants me to play.”When asked for his thoughts on Sunday’s opponents, the Algerian international explained that : “I watched Catania play against Milan and they looked strong. It is fundamental that we get three points from this match as we consider this a fixture we can win and one that would help the growth of the squad.”
The two clubs have played each other 25 times in all competitions with the Salentini winning seven times, six of those coming on home soil. Their opponents also have seven victories but only twice have they won in Puglia.
History shows that matches between these two have been tight affairs with only 44 goals having been scored in all meetings and Sunday looks set to be no different. The man in charge of the lunchtime tussle is Nicola Pierpaoli from Florence – it looks set to be a fiery encounter.
There was some good news this week for two of the rising young Italian stars in De Canio’s squad. Defender Simone Sini, on loan from Roma, has been called into the Under-19 squad for the European Championship’s being held in Latvia from the 6th to the 13th of October whilst another young defender, Giulio Donati, has been drafted into the Under-20 squad for the game against Switzerland on October 12th which is part of a four nation tournament.

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