Sampdoria vs. Parma, Preview: Sweetness and light in mid-table meet

Valerio Pennicino

Sampdoria and Parma's supporters are conjoined in the friendly Italian tradition of 'twinning' meaning there's usually a cordial atmosphere in the stands. With neither of these sides having much to play for, this shouldn't be any different.

Both of these teams seem to be cruising for a comfortable mid-table finish, which Sampdoria will probably be more happy about than Parma. Having been promoted to Serie A via the playoffs last season, a nice comfy finish will satisfy Samp.

The crociati, meanwhile, had ambitions -- or perhaps delusions -- of European qualification, so their current position, down in 11th place in the table and level on points with Sampdoria is a bit disappointing. Making things worse is their current appalling run of form.

Roberto Donadoni's side haven't won a match since they took on bottom club Palermo in their first match of the calendar year. Since then they've played seven times. They haven't been too bad, but a mixture of bad luck and plain inconsistent performances has left their European dreams in tatters.

Samp are currently in a completely different position. They've not lost in their last five, and the hiring of Delio Rossi looks a rather good one, even if he's caused more than a fair share of trouble down on the touchline. In fact, the blucerchiati fans are so chuffed with their finger flashing coach that they've requested he stays forever, clearly having not yet grasped the concept of human mortality.

Parma have won the last four times these sides have met, though they'll be without midfielder McDonald Mariga and defender Fabiano Santacroce -- both players who are reasonably talented, and occasional first teamers. Even more worrying is the doubtful pairing of defender Gabriel Paletta and striker Ishak Belfodil, who are probably the gialloblu's best players.

As for Sampdoria, they only have Gaetano Berardi and Simon Poulsen unavailable. Absentees which won't give Delio Rossi a sleepless night.

Sampdoria Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Gaetano Berardi and Simon Poulsen (injured)

Parma Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Fabiano Santacroce and McDonald Mariga (injured) In doubt: Gabriel Paletta and Ishak Belfodil

Match Date/Time: Sunday 3rd March 2013 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. E.T.

Venue: Stadio Luigi Ferraris, Genoa, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 4 (Italy)

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