January 6, 2013
Parma v Palermo: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.5||0.5|
|Goals against *||0.9||1.5|
|Last 5 home||L-W-D-L-W||L-L-W-D-W|
|Last 5 away||W-W-L-D-L||L-L-D-W-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Parma | Palermo|
Defender Salvatore Aronica was the first man to answer a distress call from relegation-threatened Palermo this week, and the Sicilians certainly have their work cut out in Parma.
Roberto Donadoni's Crociati are unbeaten at the Stadio Ennio Tardini since last March, with their dominant home form this season - and two straight wins before Christmas - earning them a top-half berth going into the new year.
Conversely, Palermo are languishing down in 18th place without mustering a win on the road this term and, more ominously, they have failed to win at Parma in seven attempts since their promotion to Serie A in 2004.
Veteran full-back Aronica left fifth-placed Napoli to assist his hometown club in a bid against the drop, as president Maurizio Zamparini and director of sport Pietro Lo Monaco look to bring experience into a struggling squad.
At his unveiling, the 35-year-old told La Repubblica: "I only left a big club like Napoli for an important cause and I'm proud to wear the shirt.
"Palermo are going through a bad time but the transfer window is open and the club is working on other deals to strengthen the squad.
"I will certainly give my all and I can see great enthusiasm among my team-mates.''
Defensive midfielder Anselmo has also bought into Palermo's vision of a longer stay in the top flight, leaving Genoa in a part-exchange deal with Eros Pisano, while Aronica's former Napoli colleague and fellow defender Andrea Dossena is expected to arrive at the Stadio Renzo Barbera shortly.
Argentinian winger Nicolas Bertolo, meanwhile, has left the club for Deportivo Cruz Azul, with defender Ezequiel Munoz suspended as Andrea Mantovani and Abel Hernandez continue to nurse long-term injuries.
Recent history suggests that Parma could cruise through tomorrow's game and start 2013 with another concerted push towards the European places, but head coach Donadoni is urging caution.
He told La Repubblica: "We will make a measured start to the new year.
"In my opinion, the first few games of the year will be absolutely crucial to our league campaign.''
Chilean midfielder Jaime Valdes will be barred from contributing to any match-winning display, though, after picking up a suspension in a 2-1 derby victory at Bologna.
Daniele Galloppa, Cristian Zaccardo and goalkeeper Antonio Mirante face late fitness tests while rumours circulate about a possible big-money approach from Arsenal for Ghanian midfielder Afriyie Acquah, who is currently on loan at the Tardini from Palermo.