Tullio M. Puglia
Less than a month after unceremoniously dumping him in favour of Alberto Malesani, Maurizio Zamparini re-appointed Gian Piero Gasperini as Palermo manager. He takes them to inconsistent Torino with the Rosanero desperate for a victory for their relegation fight.
Torino have been a frustrating side this season. At times they have played magnificent, free-flowing attacking football, such as in their 2-2 draw with Inter at the San Siro whilst at others they have looked short on ambition and ideas, some of their matches petering out to nothing. Last week they showed a little of both sides, going 2-1 up against Cagliari before the Sardinians made it 3-2. Rolando Bianchi equalised two minutes into injury time however Daniele Conti was able to snatch the victory four minutes into the added minutes in a thrilling conclusion. Il Toro sit in 13th, six points from Udinese in 9th and a comfortable 10 above the relegation places, however after last week's demoralising loss, they will be looking to put some more points on the board and get closer to the top half.
The sacking of Alberto Malesani and subsequent re-instatement of Gian Piero Gasperini made for another tumultuous week for Palermo under the stewardship of Maurizio Zamparini. Malesani's three-match tenure was hardly a disaster, three draws against Pescara, Chievo and Genoa however with the Grifone and Siena both hitting some degree of form, Palermo have slipped to the bottom of Serie A and Zamparini clearly thought Malesani was not the man to lead them forward. A crumb of comfort may come for Rosanero fans from the fact that they have lost only once in their last five matches, however this is tempered by the fact that the last victory came all the way back in November, which itself paints a picture as to why they are in such deep relegation trouble.
If Torino play even half as well as they have done this season, they should see out a routine victory in this fixture. Although Palermo's squad doesn't look too bad on paper, they have struggled all over the pitch this season, lacking solidity at the back, creativity in midfield and cutting edge up front. Even a host of January additions have done little to remedy this, although it is questionable how much solidity can be added by the likes of Salvatore Aronica and Andrea Dossena and how much cutting edge can be added by Mauro Boselli.
Torino will be without star centre-back Angelo Ogbonna through suspension, whilst winger Mario Santana is a doubt. Palermo will be without the suspended Aronica whilst fellow centre-back Michel Morganella's participation is in doubt.
Torino Injuries and Suspensions
Out: Jonathas, Marko Bakic (injured), Angelo Ogbonna, Abou Diop (suspended). In Doubt: Mario Santana, Pablo Caceres
Palermo Injuries and Suspensions
Match Date/Time: Sunday 3 March 2013, 12:30 local, 06:30 E.T.
Venue: Stadio Olimpico di Torino
TV: Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy), RAI Internazionale (USA), ESPN UK/HD (UK)