Parma vs. Bologna, Preview: Pride of Emilia at stake

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press

A game played out between two mid-table sides doesn't sound overly exciting. This one, however, has an added derby edge.

In fact, this game promises to be so interesting (ok, maybe not 'promises'...) that it has been shifted to an unusual early evening start time. Parma are unquestionably favourites after winning two games on the bounce, and they'll be looking to maintain the Ennio Tardini's fortress reputation. Only three sides have won away there this season, with Bologna having only picked up four wins on the road in total.

It hasn't been a good few weeks for the Bolognese, who've not won in their last eight games. Their bad streak isn't causing Parma-supporting coach Stefano Pioli too many sleepless nights -- Bologna are comfortably safe from relegation -- though a second consecutive defeat against their rivals probably wouldn't be the best way for Pioli to pacify the frustrated tifosi.

Parma have bounced back from an equally poor run recently, and are now aiming to cement tenth place in the table. They're currently six points and three places ahead of the rossoblu, though Roberto Donadoni's side have been unable to recreate the form displayed in earlier in the season, when they looked set to mount a charge towards the Europa League.

The gialloblu came from behind to win 2-1 at the Renato Dall'Ara in the reverse fixture, with Jaime Valdés and Nicola Sansone scoring both of the crociati goals. Coincidentally, with Sansone likely to be sidelined through injury and Valdés unimpressive in recent weeks, it's feasible that neither of Parma's scorers in December will play Sunday. Massimo Gobbi is their only other definite absentee -- the left-back is suspended.

Bologna's squad has been completely decimated by suspensions, with former Parma legend Alberto Gilardino, Diego Pérez and Panagiotis Kone all banned. Meanwhile Nicolò Cherubin, Gianluca Curci and Mikael Antonsson are unavailable with injuries.

Parma Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Massimo Gobbi (suspended) In doubt: Nicola Sansone (injured)

Bologna Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Nicolò Cherubin, Gianluca Curci, Mikael Antonsson (injured); Alberto Gilardino, Diego Pérez, Panagiotis Kone (suspended) In doubt: None

Match Date/Time: Sunday 12th May 2013 18:00 p.m. local, 12:00 p.m. E.T.

Venue: Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 2 (Italy)

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