Parma vs. Lazio, preview: Both sides looking for a foothold in the top half

Claudio Villa

Parma and Lazio go into Sunday's encounter with just three points between them and with both sides struggling for consistency, it should be an even encounter at the Ennio Tardini.

Parma currently sit in 13th in the Serie A table, alongside Livorno, Torino and AC Milan on 12 points in a tightly packed mid-table. They are just one point from Atalanta in 9th and three from opponents Lazio in 7th as they fight to break out of the midfield and maybe touch the European positions. They haven't been helped by two straight 1-0 losses at the hands of Genoa and Juventus however their performance against the reigning champions last time out did give some cause for optimism. In general this season, Parma have held their own and beaten the sides they've needed to, a 4-3 win over Atalanta and a 3-2 victory over AC Milan, themselves mired in mid-table, the most impressive results along with a battling 2-2 draw with Fiorentina. Parma fans will be expecting the side to return to winning ways against an inconsistent Lazio team and a victory may be enough to see them climb into the top half of the table.

Lazio's inconsistencies were laid bare last week as they went down 2-0 at home to Genoa, after drawing the week before and winning the week before that. They sit 7th in the table however the placing alone doesn't tell the whole story as they are effectively top of the mid-table as six points separate them from Fiorentina above and just one from Genoa below, with a host of other sides snapping at their heels.  Part of the problem has been a slew of defensive injuries, with Giuseppe Biava and sometime left-back Senad Lulić injured, Michael Ciani suspended and Stefan Radu, Diego Novaretti, Andre Dias and Abdoulay Konko all in doubt due to knocks. The situation forced Vladimir Petković to play Bruno Pereirinha out of position at right-back against Genoa and the defence lacked cover with defensive midfielder Lucas Biglia also out. If any of the players who have picked up knocks are able to play on Sunday, it will greatly aid Lazio's ailing European hopes however with such a gap to the sides above them, they will need to drop as few points as possible for the rest of the season.

Parma will still be without Gabriel Palletta and Daniele Galloppa, whilst Nicola Pavarini and Stefano Okaka are both doubts having picked up knocks. Lazio's defensive injury problems are well documented however the influential Hernanes is also a doubt whilst Emiliano Alfaro will be out.

Parma injuries and suspensions

Out: Gabriel Palletta, Daniele Galloppa (injured). In doubt: Nicola Pavarini, Stefano Okaka Chuka

Lazio injuries and suspensions

Out: Senad Lulić, Emiliano Alfaro, Giuseppe Biava (injured); Michael Ciani, Stefano Mauri (suspended). In doubt: Stefan Radu, Hernanes, Diego Novaretti, Lucas Biglia, Andre Dias, Abdoulay Konko

Projected lineups:

Parma: Mirante, Cassani, Lucarelli, Mendes, Biabiany, Gargano, Parolo, Gobbi, Marchionni, Cassano, Amauri

Lazio: Marchetti, Cavanda, Cana, Radu, Pereirinha, Ledesma, Gonzalez, Onazi, Candreva, Anderson, Klose

Match date/time: Sunday 10th November 2013, 15.00 local, 09:00 E.T.

Venue: Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma

TV: Sky Calcio 3, Premium Calcio 3 (Italy)

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