AS Roma vs. Parma, Preview: Roma's fight for Europe continues

Claudio Villa

Parma came off a rotten run to snatch a win against Torino last weekend, while Roma came off a good run to drop a couple of points in a draw with Udinese. Game on.

There was some doubt about whether this game would actually go ahead with the recent ongoings in the Vatican, though thanks to some decisive action from the Cardinals -- who clearly wanted to see some top quality Serie A action -- the Pope was elected quickly and the match is on.

Parma had their divine intervention on the back of an eight game winless streak against Torino in the last match, as Amauri proved that miracles do happen. The gangly Brazilian striker netted a hat-trick, bringing his tally for the season up to nine -- having not scored that many in a single campaign since 2008-09.

As for AS Roma, they underwhelmed in a 1-1 draw with Udinese, in which they uncharacteristically decided to barely attack at all, with the anti-Zeman Destalinization-esque process continuing in full flow. It was a far cry from when these sides last met on an exciting Halloween encounter at the Ennio Tardini earlier in the season, when the crociati stole a 3-2 victory.

Now they're a defence-first counter-attacking side, though credit to interim coach Aurelio Andreazzoli, they've won three of their last four matches, even if they haven't won in the all-out gung-ho fashion fans had come to expect. For this one, they're without Miralem Pjanić, Mattia Destro, Vasilis Torosidis and Alessio Romagnoli, though arguably only the absence of Pjanić will have a seriously detrimental effect.

Parma are rather worse off, with McDonald Mariga, Fabiano Santacroce, Andrea Coda, Djamel Mesbah and Raffaele Palladino all injured -- and all of whom would likely be involved if fit. Ishak Belfodil has been called, though is unlikely to play with a slight knock.

AS Roma Injuries and Suspensions

Miralem Pjanić, Mattia Destro, Vasilis Torosidis and Alessio Romagnoli (injured)

Parma Injuries and Suspensions

Out: McDonald Mariga, Fabiano Santacroce, Andrea Coda, Djamel Mesbah and Raffaele Palladino (injured) In doubt: Ishak Belfodil

Match Date/Time: Sunday 17th March 2013 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 3 (Italy)

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