Palermo director Pietro Lo Monaco is firing up the troops ahead of tonight’s Sicilian Derby against his former club Catania. “This is no time for nostalgia – it’s war.”
The general manager was a surprise appointment as President Maurizio Zamparini’s right hand man this season after his eight years with their local rivals. Those sides go head-to-head this evening, click here for a match preview.
“It will not be, as I hear some people say, a walk in the park for Catania,” snapped Lo Monaco.
“This is a derby and games like this must be played with the knife between our teeth. Our opponents will certainly face a team ready for war.
“Nobody can ever wipe out the good work I did in eight years at Catania. We took a club in Serie B, drowning in debts, and built one of the healthiest sides in Italy.
“I take the great memories with me, but this is no time for nostalgia. In the past these clubs exchanged players and did business together, but times have changed. For this we will now look elsewhere.”
Lo Monaco’s split from Catania was bitter and this week descended into an unseemly public exchange of insults.
“All I have to do is sneeze and it irritates Catania. There’s something underneath that reaction...”
Coach Gian Piero Gasperini named his squad for tonight’s game, which sees Fabrizio Miccoli return to the side, but Edgar Barreto, Samir Ujkani and Carlos Labrin are suspended plus Abel Hernandez and Andrea Mantovani injured.
Palermo squad for Catania: Benussi, Brichetto, Fulignati; Cetto, Garcia, Milanovic, Morganella, Munoz, Pisano, Von Bergen; Arevalo Rios, Brienza, Donati, Giorgi, Ilicic, Kurtic, Viola, Zahavi; Budan, Dybala, Miccoli