Parma vs. Pescara, Preview: The Dolphins' last crusade

Giuseppe Bellini

Pescara have only beaten six teams in the league this season. One of them was Parma. Travelling to the Ennio Tardini here, they need to repeat their November heroics.

That day Pescara won 2-0, in what was only their third win of the season. Unfortunately they've found victories equally hard to come by since, having not won a game since their first of the calendar year, upsetting the odds to win away at the fearsome Fiorentina.

With that victory a flash in the pan, the delfini president Daniele Sebastiani decided to bring in someone else to try to stumble upon the golden formula, though early indications suggest that ex-Primavera coach Cristian Bucchi won't be able to do the impossible and keep his team in the division.

As for Parma, it seemed they'd earned themselves a footballing fortune with the risky appointment of Roberto Donadoni paying dividends, though the crociati have also struggled for form lately. After winning 4-1 at home to Torino a couple of games ago -- in what was their first win in eight -- they got back to losing ways against Roma at the Olimpico before the international break.

However, having been toppled only twice at the Ennio Tardini this season, Parma really ought to be celebrating the Easter festivities with three points. That is despite the fact they're probably going to be without a spate of first-teamers -- most concerningly Djamel Mesbah.

His absence, coupled with the suspension of playmaker Jaime Valdés, could see Donadoni switch to a rather offensive-looking 3-4-3 this weekend. The injuries to McDonald Mariga, Andrea Coda, Raffaele Palladino and Fabiano Santacroce are slightly less concerning, though the squad is slightly stretched, depth-wise.

Pescara, meanwhile, have two of their most dangerous creative players unavailable in Vladimír Weiss and Ante Vukušić, while Marco Capuano, Antonio Balzano and Giuseppe Rizzo will also be left at home. All in all, neither side is in a great position on the injury front, though Parma's quality should see them through.

Parma Injuries and Suspensions

McDonald Mariga, Andrea Coda, Raffaele Palladino and Fabiano Santacroce (injured); Jaime Valdés (suspended)

Pescara Injuries and Suspensions

Vladimír Weiss, Ante Vukušić, Marco Capuano, Antonio Balzano and Giuseppe Rizzo (injured)

Match Date/Time: Saturday 30th March 2013 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. E.T.

Venue: Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 8 (Italy)

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