Catanzaro, a triptych for the playoffs


By John

Cittadella away, Bari at home, then the derby in Cosenza. Three matches in eight days, from Saturday 24 February to Sunday 3 March, which can give new substance to the rankings and confirm the progress made in recent weeks.
Three playoff clashes, moreover, because the one with the Venetians is currently worth sixth place, that is, the first behind the Martians, while in the following two Catanzaro can stand as judge of the ambitions of the pursuers, one relaunched by the Iachini treatment and the other by a newfound continuity of results. The Eagles have the privilege of facing all three without pressure: those who have to lose are their opponents, not Iemmello and his teammates.
From the perspective of the play-offs, the two matches that come after will also be important (against Reggiana and Brescia before the international break), but the upcoming triptych has a different weight as it proposes a rapid succession – by virtue of the first of the two midweek rounds of the return round – and placed significant obstacles in Vivarini’s way.
The first obstacle is high because the Venetians are in crisis: the Cittadella who will face the Giallorossi on Saturday have come back from five consecutive defeats, a streak that has almost completely erased the previous positive streak (nine useful results, of which seven victories) which ‘had achieved the same share as the big ones. In Cittadella, however, Palermo, Brescia and Cosenza lost, Venezia drew and Parma struggled – despite winning – so we couldn’t expect a walk in the park before this period, let alone now that the Venetians will be forced to put something more on the field, also to prevent the creaking of Gorini’s bench from increasing.
The second obstacle – Tuesday 27th, 8.30pm at the “Ceravolo” – is Bari recovering: it’s true that the Apulians had other ambitions at the beginning of the season and, so far, they have been one of the biggest disappointments, but in two games Iachini, who took over from Marino, achieved just as many victories and put a team that was supposedly the best equipped in the league back on track which it occupies. Lecco and Feralpisalò may not have been irresistible, but in Serie B nothing is ever taken for granted – as Vivarini rightly likes to repeat – and successes also help to regain confidence.
In a group in which there are Menez, Sibilli, Kallon, Nasti, Maita and other top players, something like trust, combined with the effective pragmatism of the new coach, can be the key to the turning point and to reaching the minimum objective of a playoff spot (just one point away).
The third obstacle is the derby and the word is enough to discover its difficulty coefficient. To this we must add the excellent moment experienced by the cousins, which legitimately brought them back to aiming for eighth place, the desire to make up for the defeat in the first leg, the great feeling of Tutino and the fact that Sunday 3 March will be played in a “San Vito-Marulla” predictably sold out, as was the “Ceravolo” in the duel at the end of November.
It will be very tough, there as in Cittadella or with Bari, but without pressure, Catanzaro can continue to have fun even when the going gets tougher.