Parma vs Genoa, Preview: Will the Grifone continue to fly in tough Tardini trip?

Valerio Pennicino

The griffins may be the wrong kind of bird, but they're looking to fly from the ashes and build on their victory over Lazio last weekend. The relegation strugglers head to off-form Parma for this one.

A 95th minute strike from Marco Rigoni sunk the Laziale, as Davide Ballardini took his first victory since taking over at the Luigi Ferraris from Gigi Delneri, and Genoa moved a place and a point outside of the relegation zone. Meanwhile, Parma succumbed to a 2-0 defeat away in Florence, meaning they stayed 10th in the table.

Parma haven't won in their last four, despite playing reasonably well. But, it's no use performing if there aren't any points to show for it, and coach Roberto Donadoni has already made this game's 'must win' status clear, as the crociati look to cement their place comfortably in the top half of the table.

Much like Parma in the last few games, Genoa haven't picked up many points this season. The difference is, they haven't deserved them. But, since hiring Ballardini in place of the disastrous Delneri, they've picked up four points from a possible six, despite taking on Juventus alongside the aforementioned Lazio.

They will attempt to keep that momentum going here, though with Parma having only been beaten by Napoli at home this season, attempting to breach the Tardini is an unenviable task -- especially with Genoa having won in Parma only once in the last 20 years.

Nevertheless, Marco Borriello is finally getting up to speed in attack, and has netted four times in his last five games. Given his history, that's probably enough to earn him a move to Juventus in the summer. He started up alongside Andrea Bertolacci as Ballardini shifted to a 3-5-2 against Lazio, and could well be the key again.

Parma's dangerman is unquestionably Ishak Belfodil, who aroused the attention of Juve on deadline day. He too has scored seven goals this season, and with Nicola Sansone looking ever better up front, they are a pairing which could terrorise the Genoese defence. Also, keep an eye on Sotiris Ninis -- the highly-rated creative Greek international who has only played a bit-part this season, but who could come into the midfield for this one.

Genoa only have a couple of injury woes with Antonio Floro Flores missing out and Bosko Janković is doubtful. They don't have any suspensions, so should they lose, they'll have to find a better excuse than absentees.

Unfortunately Parma aren't so fortunate. Daniele Galloppa is injured, while his fellow midfielder Marco Marchionni is suspended, leaving a gaping hole in the centre of the pitch. Defender Fabiano Santacroce and goalkeeper Antonio Mirante will both miss out hurt, while Aleandro Rosi joins Marchionni on the naughty step.

Parma Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Daniele Galloppa, Fabiano Santacroce, Antonio Mirante (injured) Aleandro Rosi, Marco Marchionni (suspended)

Genoa Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Antonio Floro Flores (injured) In doubt: Bosko Janković

Match Date / Time: Sunday, February 8 at 12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy), RAI Internazionale (U.S. / Canada), ESPN UK / HD (U.K.)

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