It was only a matter of time before a team made the right move by hiring the maestro Delio Rossi. Now, that maestro makes his first return to the place he led for almost two seasons, but this time, he’s an adversary.
Much has been made by the media over the past week regarding Delio Rossi’s return to Palermo. There have been plenty of questions directed at the former coach as well as Maurizio Zamparini in hopes of some sort of stinging soundbite. However, for the most part, there hasn’t really been any spiteful words from either party. Delio has continued to be thankful to Zamparini and Palermo for his time spent in Sicily while the fiery owner has been delivering some messages of praise for his ex-coach.
And yet, while Rossi makes his return to the Renzo Barbera, he won’t most of his “old guard”. After all, only Miccoli, Migliaccio and Balzaretti remain. After Delio departed, so too, did Bovo, Cassani, Nocerino, Pastore and Sirigu. In effect, tomorrow’s meeting will be one of nostalgia for the fans rather than the actual members of the Rosanero.
Palermo will also be making a return…home. The heavy defeat against Juventus once again pointed out the club’s road woes. Meanwhile, the Renzo Barbera continues to hold a 100% win percentage. Perhaps the spotless record will face its toughest test on Sunday as the one man who knows how to win at the Barbera will be sitting on the opposing bench.
pisano – silvestre – cetto – mantovani
migliaccio – bačinovič – acquah
iličić – zahavi
Bench: benussi; aguirregaray, munoz; bertolo, della rocca, varela; pinilla
There are all sorts of question marks surrounding the lineup and formation Mangia will use on Sunday. The back line has a mandatory change as Balzaretti misses the game because of yellow card accumulation. Andrea Mantovani should take his spot at left back. Mangia could opt for a surprise, though, by inserting Luca Di Matteo at Balzaretti’s spot instead. Some reports have suggested Mangia could issue Cetto to the bench in favor of Migliaccio after the Argetine’s horrid performance in Torino. Should Giulio make the switch to defense, it’d free up a midfield spot for Acquah, Bacinovic and Barreto.
The midfield will depend on how Mangia feels. If Migliaccio retains his midfielder role, then the other two spots are a battle among Acquah, Bacinovic and Barreto. Based on the Paraguayan’s last few appearances, perhaps it’d be better to give Acquah and Bacinovic the starts. Tactically, the obvious choice given the lack of striking options is to use the two trequartista system with Ilicic and Zahavi working behind a lone striker.
Miccoli has already been confirmed as a starter tomorrow and so it should be the Palermo captain to maintain the lone striker while a recovered Mauricio Pinilla begins the match on the bench. Of course, don’t count out Mangia’s preference for a 4-3-1-2 with Pinilla and Miccoli leading the line.
It will be an emotional match at least for the supporters and Delio Rossi. There’s no hiding the fact that Delio has etched a place in Rosanero hearts for what he did during his time at Palermo. However, on Sunday, he’s an adversary (not an enemy), and as such, everyone in the stadium will be backing the pink and black. The Renzo Barbera has proven to be a safe haven for the Rosanero as well as a place where the goals are bountiful. Rossi will have to get his tactics right as he won’t be able to count on key players like Jovetic, Palermo ex Cassani and Kharja. Nevertheless, there are still dangerous players who can punish the Rosanero should they let their guard down. Delio may be in our hearts, but Palermo is in our blood. Forza Palermo!
Awaiting Palermo – Fiorentina by Pietro Falanga
SIAMO TERRONI E CE NE VANTIAMOOOOOO!!!