Parma vs Inter Milan Preview: Visitors look to consolidate second place

Claudio Villa

Inter Milan have the chance to cut Juventus’ lead at the top to just a single point, but that’s easier said than done.

Inter Milan have been in this position once before, only to throw it away. Since their win over Juventus, the nerazzurri suffered a shock defeat at Atalanta and needed an own goal to salvage a draw at home with Cagliari last weekend.

Tensions boiled over when Inter weren't awarded a late penalty and as a result, both Andrea Stramaccioni and Antonio Cassano were handed suspensions for insulting the referee. Stramaccioni has since had his ban revoked and will coach from the touchline, but Cassano will sit out two matches.

Parma coach Roberto Donadoni has stoked the fire by leaping to the defence of the referees, stating "they make mistakes like we do."

He added: "If someone thinks that referees are in bad faith then they should just say it, otherwise they need to stay within the spectre of an error.

"Referees can make mistakes just like a Coach can get his starting line-up wrong and a striker can miss a goal.

"If people continue to protest in the way that we have been seeing then that will only see an increase in tension."

Other players missing through suspension include Marco Parolo for the hosts and Inter's Walter Gargano - both for picking up too many bookings.

Parma forward Dorlan Pabon has returned to Colombia indefinitely after being granted personal leave to care for his sick son.

Inter's Wesley Sneijder has been frozen out of the squad while the club try to re-negotiate his current playing contract. The side's highest earner has been given a choice of accepting a pay cut or a January sale. Stramaccioni is hopeful of resolving the situation, but will not pick him during the dispute.

Inter are sweating on the fitness of a number of players and will wait until the last minute before deciding whether to risk them. A youthful side made the trip to Russia to face Rubin Kazan in the Europa League in midweek. With progress already assured, the 3-0 loss hardly mattered.

Parma are protecting an unbeaten home record, registering three wins and three draws thus far. The home side enjoyed a 3-1 victory when these sides met back in May. You have to go back six years for the last Inter victory at the Tardini.

Parma President Tommaso Ghirardi has revealed he has "been thinking about this game for a long time."

He told the Parma website: "We know that we are facing a very strong side. However, we've been extremely hard to beat at the Tardini over the last eight months and are coming off a long series of positive results.

"We hope to maintain the same determination, hunger and make the most of our individual talents to get a great result."

Parma injuries and suspensions

Cristian Zaccardo, Daniele Galloppa (in doubt) Marco Parolo (suspended)

Inter injuries and suspensions

Out: Cristian Chivu, Dejan Stankovic (injured) Antonio Cassano, Walter Gargano (suspended) In doubt: Andrea Ranocchia, Fredy Guarin, Gaby Mudingayi, Joel Obi

Match Date/Time: Monday 26th November 2012, 9 p.m. local, 3 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma, Italy

TV: Premium Calcio, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy), beIN Sport en Espanol, RAI Internazionale, beIN Sport 1 (U.S.) ESPN (UK)

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