Palermo vs. AS Roma, Preview: Sicilians need a miracle

Giuseppe Bellini

The inevitability of relegation has sunk in at Palermo, and even a win at home to Roma will only give the Sicilians a glimmer of hope.

Giuseppe Sannino's second spell in charge of the rosanero got underway with a 2-0 loss to AC Milan before the international break, keeping Palermo at the bottom of the table with a five point gap to overcome if they are to survive. Unfortunately, despite their reasonable squad, it doesn't look likely.

They still haven't won a match since November, and have emerged victorious just thrice in Serie A this season. Worryingly, one of Serie A's most off-form sides meet one of the most in-form ones at the Renzo Barbera this weekend.

Under Aurelio Andreazzoli, AS Roma have only dropped a couple of points in their last 25, moving up to level in the table with Roman rivals Lazio, and Inter Milan. They're right in the hunt for European football now, and it's difficult to see them stalling here -- not least with the giallorossi having won the last three times these sides met.

But, for their impressive form and new-found defensive sturdiness, they've not convinced away from the Olimpico recently, winning only once in their last seven on the road. They've a few match doubts, with Miralem Pjanić, Simone Perrotta and Marquinhos all suffering with knocks, though Mattia Destro should be fit after shaking off injury.

As for Palermo, their long-term sidelined duo Abel Hernández and Andrea Mantovani will continue to sit in the stands for this one -- probably shielding their eyes at the horrors unfolding before them at the same time. When these sides clashed earlier in the season, Roma knocked four past Samir Ukjani in a 4-1 win.

Palermo Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Abel Hernández and Andrea Mantovani (injured)

Roma Injuries and Suspensions

In doubt: Miralem Pjanić, Simone Perrotta and Marquinhos

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

Venue: Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo, Italy

TV: Premium Calcio, Sky Calcio 2 (Italy) beIN Sport en Español (U.S.)

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