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Fiorentina vs Parma, Preview: Viola host Gialloblù in off-colour clash

Both Fiorentina and Parma are enduring poor runs of form of late, with only the crociati picking up a win in their last four games. As for the viola, they have lost four of their last five in all competitions. Who, if anyone, will stop the rot?

Claudio Villa

That, therefore, makes this game as important as it should be entertaining. Both of these sides are chasing European qualification, and play a possession-based game to try to get themselves back into continental competition and relive the glory days which saw them each the Uefa Cup (Parma twice) the 1990s.

Fiorentina currently sit sixth, five points ahead of tenth-place Parma, though their recent run of form has seen them fall from real Champions League contention for the time being, at least. As for Parma, it should be noted that they have played both Napoli and Juventus in their last three games -- and were unfortunate to lose against the former -- though with a poor draw away at Chievo sandwiched in between, they hope for better.

With both of these sides misfiring, it is an unpredictable fixture. Fiorentina have only lost once at the Artemio Franchi this season, though that defeat was amusingly against relegation strugglers Pescara. Parma's away record leaves a lot to be desired too, with the crociati winning only twice on the road in total.

But, if either coach is going to receive a pleasant pick-me-up from the January mercato madness, it's more likely to be Roberto Donadoni. They have plugged the Cristian Zaccardo gap in defence with the smart signing of Udinese's Andrea Coda, while McDonald Mariga -- who was one of five Parma players who played the last time Parma won away in Florence in 2009 -- has been brought back on loan, in the pick of their dealings.

They have centre-back Fabiano Santacroce unavailable after he picked up a knock against Napoli, while the long-term injured midfielder Daniele Galloppa will miss out again.

As for the viola, their new centre-back Marvin Compper should be benched, while Momo Sissoko is at the African Cup of Nations.

The Tuscans have a few more absentee issues. Alberto Aquilani will sit out the next two games through suspension, while their best January arrival -- Giuseppe Rossi -- is out until March at the earliest. Ahmed Hegazy, Mati Fernández and Michele Camporese are also injured.

Fiorentina Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Giuseppe Rossi, Ahed Hegazy, Mati Fernández, Michele Camporese (injured) Alberto Aquilani (suspended)

Parma Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Fabiano Santacroce, Daniele Galloppa (injured)

Match Date / Time: Sunday, February 3 at 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 3 (Italy)