Palermo vs. Bologna, Preview: Palermo look for third victory to aid great escape bid

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press

For much of this season, Palermo have looked doomed to Serie B for next season however two consecutive victories, their first since January 2012, have put them level on points with safety.

Despite not recording a victory between November and the dying days of March, Palermo now stand on the brink of a remarkable comeback-from-the-dead and sit equal on points with both Siena and Genoa, the Tuscan side currently sitting outside the relegation zone on head-to-head record. Palermo got here by virtue of a home victory over Roma two weeks ago followed by a sensational away win over Sampdoria last time out, Maurizio Zamparini's re-hiring of Giuseppe Sannino six months after his initial sacking suddenly looking like a moment of inspiration. Sannino appears to have finally got the side scoring with the enigmatic Josip Ilicic at the heart of the revival, a goal and an assist against Roma was followed by another goal last time out against Sampdoria. Another victory is desperately needed as Siena take on rock-bottom Pescara on Saturday and Genoa play an unpredictable derby against Sampdoria later on Sunday.

Bologna may just be the ideal side for Palermo to play at this point in the season. They currently sit in 12th, at the heart of a tight mid-table group, only two points behind Parma in tenth but eight from Udinese in ninth. As they are also ten points above the relegation zone, they are right in the middle of that mid-table limbo that manifests itself at this time of the season. The Rossoblu haven't won in three matches, losing to champions-elect Juventus and drawing with Udinese and Torino, the latter an entertaining 2-2 that they were unlucky to lose, Rolando Bianchi scoring four minutes into added time to grasp a point for the Granata.

Palermo's recent revival and Bologna's recent indifferent form could potentially mean that the Rosanero enter as slight favourites however Bologna have been comfortably the better side for almost the entire season. Under Zamparini, Palermo have been very temporary in nature and the latest revival could be a blip however they will be high on confidence and given Bologna's mid-table status, the pink revival could well be set to continue.

Andrea Dossena and Anrea Mantovani will sit out for Palermo, whilst January signing Stefano Sorrentino is a doubt, but Abel Hernandez could be set for a return following a season beset with niggling injuries. Bologna have no major injuries however key man Alessandro Diamanti is a doubt along with midfield enforcer Diego Perez.

Palermo Injuries and Suspensions:

Out: Andrea Dossena, Andrea Mantovani (injured). In doubt: Stefano Sorrentino, Fabrizio Miccoli, Abel Hernandez.

Bologna Injuries and Suspensions:

Out: None. In Doubt: Saphir Taider, Alessandro Diamanti, Diego Perez, Michele Pazienza, Cesare Natali.

Match Date/Time: Sunday 14th April 2013, 12.30 local, 6.30 ET

Venue: Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo

TV: Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy), RAI Internazionale (USA), ESPN UK/HD (UK)

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