Relegation Battle: Siena – Palermo

Battle of the giants this certainly is not. The two teams sitting the in the last spots in the Serie A table will face off with points at a premium. The current conditions at the Artemio Franchi pretty much sum up these sides: cold, windy and rainy. It all adds up to what will most likely be an ugly game.

On paper, Gasperini’s choices are still more talented than what ex-Palermo coach Serse Cosmi has to pick from. Yet, in what has been a recurring theme this season, the Rosanero haven’t exactly taken advantage of their assumed superiority (losing to Pescara and Atalanta, drawing Torino). Nevertheless, the club has shown signs of improvement under Gasperini. Some would say the Rosanero haven’t had much luck this season and that would be justified. Yet, the team also hasn’t taken advantage of situations to finish games that eventually ended in a draw or loss.

To say Siena have not been good this season is truly misleading. They only have two points to their name but what most don’t remember is that La Robur started off the Serie A season with a -6 points deduction due to club involvement in the latest betting scandal. In reality, Siena has one more win than Palermo and if not for the points deduction, they’d be ahead of the Sicilians. They also haven’t been beaten soundly in any of their four losses. Each loss has ended in a 2-1 scoreline and came against the likes of Juventus, Lazio, Sampdoria and Atalanta. All this is to say that Siena cannot and should not be taken lightly. Given Palermo’s current standing, they’re in no position to take anyone lightly.

This is a must win game.

Official Palermo Lineup

Munoz – Donati – Von Bergen
Morganella – Barreto – Kurtic – Mantovani
Ilicic – Brienza

Palermo bench: Benussi; Cetto, Garcia, Labrin, Pisano; Bertolo, Giorgi, Rios, Viola, Zahavi; Budan, Dybala


21 thoughts on “Relegation Battle: Siena – Palermo

  1. After first half I’m a little bit disappointed with Brienza. We have five midfielder and even now Miccoli must help them in the midfield. How can we score goals?

  2. Looks like the team has really gotten a hold of what their role is in this formation. Team looks much more in control and fluid moving around (albeit against a very poor Siena). Still need that piece in the box to target and score. Surely Budan could do that for us…

  3. These BeIN sport announcers are…interesting.

    Let out a primal scream at the miss by Miccoli (admittedly, it was pretty shocking), then commented that he’ll know he “just let a big sperm whale off the hook there…”

  4. So, im gonna refrain from making comments about Ilicic, but im sure everyone knows how i feel about his performance today…

    MUNOZ. WHAT A GAME FOR MUNOZ. If he can keep playing like that, i will take back everything i ever said about him.

    Also, midfield and attack werent linking up. Miccoli should not have to go back and create along with try to score.

  5. Please people, let someone onestly say: Micoli was terribile! If Iličić would miss such an chance as Miccoli did, fans and media would destroy him!!!
    I realy hate this sort of hypocracy!

  6. Yes, his display was awful. As for Ilicić, he missed more chances against goalkeepers than Miccoli. His displays are very poor. His lack of charisma and unable to pass the ball is a tragedy. Miha – Ilicić had only one good season (2 years ago).

    • I actually thought he looked a lot better in this game. He hasn’t ever been a prolific goal scorer (only 8 in 34 games his first season), he was connecting passes much better and a lot more involved in the build-up play.

      I think as a whole the team got to understand Gasp’s tactics better during the break, and the fluidity of play was much better.

      Only thing missing is a scorer. I think we should give Miccoli-Budan-Illicic(or Brienza, or whoever). Having a big striker like Budan might be more helpful than two creatives. We did plenty around the box against Siena, and almost nothing inside of it

      • Ilicic was doing better cause he has motivation…an interest from Liverpool. Yet he still didnt do good. I think he brought his price down with that display.

        I think we need Budan up front too. Miccoli – Budan – Brienza sounds like it can be very effective.

        • Dear Sal

          I think these are rumors. And i think he wants to play good beacose of Palermo fans, not Liverpol scouts. And one more think- it is not good for him that rumors are spreding- it brings uncertanity in players soul.

        • Dear Dario
          “His lack of charisma and unable to pass the ball is a tragedy”.
          I would also say, that Iličić lacks charisma- his mentality is not one of his better sides. He realy lacks confidence I think.
          But that he is unable to pass the ball- this is nonsense. Now Siena was all about difense- they played very closed game. So it was very difficult for Palermo (and not just Iličić) to pass the ball (only Donati to Miccoli was nice pass). Otherwise, passing a ball is exactly what Iličić does best.
          “I think that Budan might be the answer to our question. My opinion about Ilicić didn’t refer to his last match.”
          To what match than? Last 4-5 games Iličić was rated with very good marks at some internet pages (palermo 24 and stadionews). Two or three times he was even rated as the top of the match. Against Siena, he was”t that good acording to many misunderstandings with Miccoli (lots of terrible passes- Miccoli to one side, Iličić pasing to another). So, what match are you having in mind? I think your judement is not very sober.

      • Dear Salvatore
        I agree with you. I think that Palermo plays better under Gasp. The team realy lacks scorer, otherwise no team under Gasp haven”t playout them. It is crucial now to stick with the team, since I think goals will come, if thay continue to play like they do.
        Next game against Milan is very important! To both Milan and Palermo. Hope for the best!

  7. Miha – I think that Ilicić had only one or two good displays in this season. Maybe I wrote it wrong (unable to pass) but so often he makes wrong decisions( he shoots when he should pass the ball, dribbles and lose the ball, fall when he should pass or try to shoot). It’s weird that after so many matches with Miccoli he can’t find the final pass like in a match against Siena.

    • Dario-
      “I think that Ilicić had only one or two good displays in this season”
      Well, that is your opinion. Serious commentators and football criticts do not share your opinion.
      To be onest- Iličić is not yet what he should be, but there are signs that he is coming back. Maybe some expected more from him, but they should ask themselfs, if their expectatios were not to high. Especialy when you consider what hapend to Palermo in two years. From team of some great technical players, to the team of average players with some exceptions. Terrible chancing of coaches every few months etc.. To me it is surprise that Palermo looks good in few last games. Thanx to Gasp of course.
      And now a note about Miccoli and Iličić playing together. It is not ONLY Iličić”s fault if he pasess in one way, whereas Miccoli runs into another direction. To me, it seems that there is no good chemistry beetwen the two of them. I also noticed, that both of them, are quite angry when one of them misses good chance. I mean angry not on themselfs, but on each other. To me, that is not a good sign. Hope both of them will score and assist as soon as possibile. Against Milan ther is a good chance to start. That would calm the misunderstandings beetwen them, if there are any.

  8. Great discussion. We deserved more from this game, but it’s our third solid performance in a row. Let’s hope we can keep it going v. Milan. I see that Miccoli says he is responsible for Palermo not getting 3 points on Saturday… what a guy – what a captain !

  9. Miha – Try to watch Palermo game on sky or another english channel. Read not only italian websites but also english. Most of commentators said that his displays are average or even poor in this season (most of them). After match with Siena he was rated the same as Miccoli (don’t know why). His rates after earlier displays are average. Maybe I expect more from him because two years ago he showed that he could play really well.

    I don’t wrote that this lack of chemistry is only his fault. I saw that Miccoli and Ilicić are angry on each other, but it is the highest time to show that these footballers make a team that can compete with bigger ones and our next match is a great opportunity to prove that we are capable of doing some great things.

  10. It appears Munoz is dinged up and won’t play v Milan. This presents an interesting problem/opportunity. Does Mantovani move to the three-man backline w ith Donati and Von Bergen ? Do wevput Garcia back on the left flank – he is a nice crosser of the ball but only an average passer and we’ll suffer a bit defensively. Or do we try something different ? Does Labrin get a game perhaps ? Maybe we’ll know more by tomorrow and Lorenzo can speculate further in his pre-game set-up..

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