Having had a six point penalty slapped on them at the start of the season, Siena's performances have been worthy of a team higher in the table. But, like the poor prisoners in Plato's cave, all they've known this season is the shady, shadowy existence of the bottom three, not knowing what life is like above the terminal relegation line.
But, that could all change with their first tantalising taste of liberation if they beat Parma at the Artemio Franchi on Sunday afternoon, leaving Genoa requiring a win over Napoli in the evening to move back out of the relegation zone. Given that Siena have only lost once at home since December, while the crociati have one of the worst away records of any team in the division, their chances aren't as slim as you might imagine.
That is despite the fact that Parma have recently ended their woeful run of eight games without success, taking victories against Torino and Pescara either side of a defeat to AS Roma in their last three matches. They travel to Tuscany without five injured players, though only defender Andrea Coda and wing-back Djamel Mesbah are regular first-teamers.
As for Siena, wing-back Felipe and midfielder Francesco Della Rocca will both be missed through suspension, and defender Carlos Matheu will still have to wait to make his robur debut, as he is out injured.
To take a win, Beppe Iachini's side have to overturn a disappointing record against the gialloblu in recent years, having not beaten Parma since 2008. In a coincidental reversal of the current situation, that season it was Siena who cruised to a comfortable mid-table finish, while Parma were sent down to Serie B.
Siena Injuries and Suspensions
Carlos Matheu (injured); Felipe and Francesco Della Rocca (suspended)
Parma Injuries and Suspensions
Match Date/Time: Sunday 7th April 2013 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. E.T.
Venue: Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma, Italy
TV: Sky Calcio 4 (Italy)