Chievo Verona vs. Palermo, Preview: Donkeys will fly before Palermo win on the road

Tullio M. Puglia

Not one of the more glamorous fixtures of round 25, this one will nevertheless have serious ramifications at the bottom of the table, as Palermo look to end their winless streak and move towards safety.

Despite throwing the kitchen sink at fellow strugglers Pescara in the last round, Palermo failed to get off to a winning start under Alberto Malesani, only rescuing a point at home to the delfini thanks to a late goal from Diego Fabbrini. Now rock bottom of the table after being caught by a resurgent Siena, they need to to start winning, and fast.

Chievo Verona may be famously hard to break down -- even more so at home, where they have lost just thrice this season -- but their momentum has been broken by defeats against Juventus and Inter Milan in the last couple of games, and they have won just one of their last five. Now's as good a time as any for Palermo to make up some of the four points which currently keep them in the drop zone.

If they are to take victory, it would be the first time this season they have won away from the Renzo Barbera. In the 24 matches played so far, they've won an embarrassingly poor three games -- all of them in front of their own fans. They haven't won away at the Marc'Antonio Bentegodi since 2006, though pulled off a resounding 4-1 win when they clashed in Palermo earlier in the season.

That day captain fantastic Fabrizio Miccoli netted a hat-trick, and he will spearhead the attack in this game in what is expected to be a switch to a 4-3-2-1 from the three-man defence the rosanero utilised under Gian Piero Gasperini.

They only have a couple of certain absentees: striker Abel Hernández and ex-Chievo defender Andrea Mantovani are injured, though everyone else is available. However, while Andrea Dossena and Josip Iličić have made the long trip to Verona, they have slight muscle problems, and are doubtful.

As for Chievo, they have Gennaro Sardo, Boukary Dramé and Adrian Stoian sidelined through injury, while Luca Rigoni is suspended. They will be hoping for all three points, though, currently sat seven points above the drop zone in 12th, their situation isn't close to being as desperate as their Sicilian opponent's.

Chievo Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Gennaro Sardo, Boukary Dramé, Adrian Stoian (injured) Luca Rigoni (suspended)

Palermo Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Abel Hernández, Andrea Mantovani (injured) In doubt: Andrea Dossena, Josip Iličić

Match Date / Time: Saturday, February 16 at 6 p.m. local, 12 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy), RAI Internazionale, beIN SPORT (U.S.)

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