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Catania v Sampdoria: Preview

Catania coach Maurizio Pellegrino has urged his players not to give up hope despite his side looking more likely to be relegated to Serie B.

The Sicilian outfit lies at the foot of the standings heading into Saturday's home game against Sampdoria.

Catania are eight points adrift of safety with five games left to play.

With only four wins collected this campaign, Catania have done little to defend their Serie A status.

Last weekend's 1-0 defeat at AC Milan was Catania's 21st loss of the campaign, the first under Pellegrino.

``I'm not happy with the result but I'm satisfied with the approach the team had to the game,'' Pellegrino said. ``This determination is what I want to see in every game from now on.

``I saw the team more determined and focused than in previous games and we made life difficult for Milan.

``There are still five games to go and we cannot give up. We need to finish the season with dignity.''

Catania have the worst strike force in the competition with only 24 goals scored in 33 games, and one of the weakest defensive lines, with 58 conceded.

Rivals Sampdoria will be bolstered by the return of coach Sinisa Mihajlovic, after the Serbian tactician served a two-match touchline ban.

Samp have won just one of their past five games and followed their 2-0 defeat at Lazio with a 4-0 humiliation at home to Inter Milan last time out.

``We travel to Catania determined to put things right,'' Samp captain Daniele Gastaldello said. ``We didn't play well against Lazio and we showed a poor image against Inter.

``We expect a difficult game at Catania as they will go all out for a win to give them any hope of avoiding the drop.''

Catania must do without the services of Uruguay defender Alexis Rolin, who must serve a one-match ban.

The visitors will not be at full strength with Gastaldello as well as midfielder Roberto Soriano and striker Citadin Eder all suspended.



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