Tullio M. Puglia
A spectre is haunting Sicily -- the spectre of Serie B. Palermo host Siena on Sunday afternoon, with both sides five points adrift at the bottom, and desperately needing a win.
Palermo still haven't won since November, and the signs of gradual improvement -- such as their current run of four consecutive draws -- aren't coming quickly enough for them to survive. Gian Piero Gasperini has been reinstated as coach after the failed Alberto Malesani experiment, though the great Palermo revival is yet to occur.
As for Siena, they've looked in better shape of late, and had they not been handed a six point deduction at the start of the season, they wouldn't even be in the relegation zone. The signing of Innocent Emeghara is looking inspired, and he's fired the Tuscans to victories over Lazio and Inter Milan in their last five games.
However, there's no escaping their dreadful away form. The robur have won only once away from home this season -- with the only team who have a worse record on the road being Palermo. If they can't turn things around now, they may as well be preparing for Serie B already.
They haven't won away at the Renzo Barbera in the league since 2008, though won on penalties in their last visit in 2011, in the Coppa Italia. When these sides met at the Artemio Franchi earlier in the season, it ended in a drab 0-0. Neither team can afford to settle for a draw here.
Siena will be without Nicola Pozzi and Simone Vergassola through injury -- two big players who they'll miss, though ones who they have already had to do without for the last few games. Palermo have Edgar Barreto, Abel Hernández and Andrea Mantovani out hurt, though likewise, the latter two have already missed a sizeable chunk of the season.
Palermo Injuries and Suspensions
Edgar Barreto, Abel Hernández and Andrea Mantovani (injured)
Siena Injuries and Suspensions
Nicola Pozzi and Simone Vergassola (injured)
Match Date/Time: Sunday 10th March 2013, 3 p.m. local, 9 p.m. E.T.
Venue: Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo, Italy
TV: Sky Calcio 5, Premium Calcio (Italy)
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