December 16, 2012
Parma v Cagliari: Preview
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.5||1.0|
|Goals against *||0.9||1.6|
|Last 5 home||L-W-D-L-W||W-L-L-W-W|
|Last 5 away||W-W-L-D-L||D-D-L-D-D|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Parma | Cagliari|
|3/9||H: Hellas Verona||3/8||A: Catania|
|3/16||A: AC Milan||3/16||H: Lazio|
|3/23||H: Genoa||3/23||A: Bologna|
|3/26||A: Juventus||3/26||H: Hellas Verona|
|3/30||A: Lazio||3/30||A: Torino|
Cagliari are the guests for Parma's 99th birthday party, with director Pietro Leonardi predicting a bright future at the Stadio Ennio Tardini despite recent setbacks.
The Crociati would have preferred to enter their centenary year in better shape but instead they welcome Ivo Pulga's Cagliari on the back of two consecutive league defeats and a demoralising Coppa Italia exit to Catania.
A European place was the projected target for Roberto Donadoni's players this season but Parma are nine points shy of sixth and struggling for both goals and consistency.
But Leonardi - who bailed the club out of administration in 2008 - is eager to focus on the positives, telling fcparma.com: "I am very confident now as I see the football from a different perspective.
"We did not deserve to lose against Lazio or Atalanta and absolutely did not deserve to go out of the Coppa Italia.
"The results will come because these unfavourable episodes will stop and I am convinced we will enjoy a good Christmas period.
"From Sunday, we enter our centenary year. I hope there is a large crowd and a massive presence of people who have loved, suffered, rejoiced and rooted for this club for many years.
"It's a party for Parma fans of the last 30, 40 or 50 years because I've only been here for four years. The anniversary is a celebration of all those who have lived through Parma.''
Aleandro Rosi, Daniele Galloppa, Jaime Valdes and Antonio Mirante face late fitness checks as Parma bid to climb back into the top half of the table with a first win since November.
Cagliari also suffered an early exit from the Coppa Italia - going down 1-0 at Juventus - and head coach Pulga is under pressure to register a first league win in seven attempts.
Of the defeat, Pulga said: "We performed brilliantly and we proved that everybody at Cagliari deserves a starting place.
"I'm happy with the match overall but it's a shame about the result, which is due to us making one little error.''
The Isolani have returned victorious from two of their last three trips to Parma, though, with Radja Nainggolan, Daniele Conti and Andrea Cossu doubtful to feature as Pulga bids to make that statistic three wins from four.