Fiorentina vs. Palermo, Preview: Rosanero peering into the Serie B precipice

Tullio M. Puglia

Four points adrift of safety with two games to play, Palermo are in desperate need of a win away at Champions League-chasing Fiorentina.

Palermo have only won once away from home this season, making this an even harder task. Their opponents still have something to fight for themselves, with Fiorentina chasing the third and final Champions League spot. They unimpressively squeezed past their Tuscan rivals Siena on Wednesday, staying four points off AC Milan and third place.

They've only lost twice in front of their own fans this campaign, and have tinted Serie A viola with their zestful, zealous and always-offensive style. They'll hope to make amends for their 1-0 loss at the hands of AS Roma last time they played at the Artemio Franchi, ensuring they can capitalise on any slip-ups the rossoneri may make this weekend.

Palermo's last outing saw them sunk 3-2 in a topsy-turvy game against Udinese, which you'd be forgiven for thinking had relegated the Sicilians. Captain Fabrizio Miccoli collapsed to the ground in tears on the final whistle, meaning he'll probably be downright inconsolable if things don't go their way this weekend. President Maurizio Zamparini has already started discussing his plans for Serie B.

"I'm not well versed in mathematics," said coach Giuseppe Sannino on the current situation near the bottom of the table. Here's all he needs to know: If Palermo lose, they are relegated no matter what happens in other games. Even if they pick up points, Genoa only need to match their result at Inter Milan to send the Sicilians down and survive themselves.

Palermo make the long trip to Florence without Diego Fabbrini, Mauro Boselli and -- unquestionably the most costly absentee -- Josip Iličić. The Slovenian playmaker has been one positive in a very bleak season for the rosanero, meaning his unavailability will be felt strongly. Edgar Barreto is also unavailable, with the Paraguayan midfielder suspended.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina will be without the injured Marcelo Larrondo, as well as Mohamed Sissoko and Michele Camporese. The ever-exciting Adem Ljajić is still out suspended, while Alberto Aquilani will probably only be fit enough to start from the bench. Eyes will once again be cast on Giuseppe Rossi, who could make his viola debut after returning from injury.

Fiorentina Injuries and Suspensions

Marcelo Larrondo, Mohamed Sissoko, Michele Camporese (injured); Adem Ljajić (suspended)

Palermo Injuries and Suspensions

Diego Fabbrini, Josip Iličić, Mauro Boselli (injured); Edgar Barreto (suspended)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 12th May 2013 12:30 p.m. local, 6:30 a.m. E.T.

Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy

TV: RAI Internazionale (U.S.)

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