After a lengthy break for the holidays, Palermo are back in action on Sunday against Parma at the Ennio Tardini. The Rosanero are still looking for their first win away from home but they go to a place where they haven’t won in 48 years. Is it a tall task? Well, at this point, everything has been difficult for the Sicilians. Nevertheless, it will be good to see Palermo back in action.
Gasperini has the unfortunate responsibility to come up with solutions to the significant absences against Parma. Munoz is out because of yellow card accumulation and Donati didn’t make the trip after failing to recover from his injury. Arevalo Rios is practically banned from the club and Giorgi is about to sign for Atalanta – neither of them have been called up. And then, there’s Miccoli. The Rosanero captain picked up an injury earlier in the week and is highly doubtful to partake in Sunday’s match. He was able to make the call-up list, but Gasperini confirmed in his press conference that unless something miraculous happens, Miccoli will be watching this one from the stands.
What does this mean? For starters, Aronica will almost certainly make his Palermo debut, thrust into the action straightaway. There had been some practices in which Gasperini played with the four man back line, but whether he opts for that or not remainst to be seen. Another player who may make his Palermo debut, almost out of necessity, happens to also be Palermo-born – Giulio Sanseverino. Gasperini has called him up in several matches, but he has been unused. On Sunday, he might be thrown under the limelight as Pisano is gone and Garcia and Morganella will already be deployed. Sanseverino has been successful with the Primavera, the hope is that he can play well for the first team.
There has been a lot of talk surrounding Ujkani’s future, but Gasperini spent a couple minutes defending the Palermo keeper from his critics. The Palermo boss didn’t understand why there’s been all this negativity surrounding the Albanian and stated that several of his terrific performances haven’t been highlighted. For whatever it’s worth, Ujkani should take his place in between the sticks, perhaps fighting for his job.
Up top, Palermo will most likely roll with Brienza, Ilicic and Dybala. In addition to Miccoli and Budan, Gasperini chose two more youngsters from the Primavera – Cephas Malele and Mauro Bollino. To further underline how dire the striking options are, Gasperini called up five strikers for the first time this year.
Parma are a decent side. They have had some good performances and some poor ones, but there’s a feeling that they’ve been playing slightly better than where they should be. Palermo trounced them in a summer friendly, but there’s a reason why friendlies are experimental and not always a good testament to a team’s strengths or weaknesses. It will be tough to come away with three points, especially given all the injuries, but everyone knows this already.
Probable Palermo Lineup
Von Bergen – Aronica – Garcia
Morganella – Barreto – Kurtic – Sanseverino
Brienza – Ilicic
Palermo bench: Benussi, Brichetto; Goldaniga, Cetto, Milanovic; Anselmo, Viola; Bollino, Budan, Malele, Miccoli
SIAMO TERRONI E CE NE VANTIAMOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!