Chievo Verona vs Parma, Preview: Crociati crusade continues in Verona

Marco Luzzani

Chievo haven't managed to beat Parma since 2007, though with a strong home record and brutally effective formula this season, this is a game which could be closer than you'd think.

After a start to the season which had many speculating -- and probably hoping -- that Chievo Verona might struggle this season, they've managed to turn it around. New coach Eugenio Corini has restored their 'sturdy' approach after Mimmo Di Carlo moved a little close to actually trying to score for President Campedelli's liking, and now they look set for another season of mid-table mediocrity.

Typically tough to beat at home, they have lost just twice at the Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi this season, and will be optimistic of continuing this impressive record against a Parma side who have won just twice away from the Ennio Tardini.

Nevertheless, Roberto Donadoni's side are currently enjoying an excellent run of form, holding Juventus last weekend on the back of three consecutive wins, and they continue to cling to faint hopes of European football. They are currently eighth, just a point behind Milan, and five points behind Fiorentina in fifth. Their passing style may horrify supporters of the Flying Donkeys, though it is delighting everyone else, seeing the Emilians become the best of Serie A's rest this season.

Perhaps not achieving it by such attractive means, Chievo are also in good shape, emerging victorious from four of their last six as they move up to a comfortable eleventh place. Top scorer Alberto Paloschi is enjoying a good start to the season, though could start from the bench here as Corini's bizarre false nine-esque experiment goes on. Either that, or they dislike scoring so much he's being punished for daring to do it excessively.

The hosts are expected to be without their superstar goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino for this game, who seems to be subject to the longest transfer saga since time began. Elsewhere, they have a few outfield players doubtful, while Bostjan Cesar is suspended. For Parma, only long-term absentee Daniele Galloppa will miss out. Ishak Belfodil, who has scored six times this season, is their man to watch.

Chievo injuries and suspensions

Out: Bostjan Cesar (suspended) Stefano Sorrentino (awaiting transfer) In doubt: Nicolas Frey, Roberto Guana, Boukary Dramé

Parma injuries and suspensions

Out: Daniele Galloppa (injured)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 20th January 2013 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 6 (Italy)

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