Only a point separates these two teams and European places are being eyed up even if it is still only November. Fiorentina desperately want to secure a Champions League place so that they can face Europe’s elite as they have done this season.
A dip in form has hopefully been eradicated as Fiorentina left in late but managed to secure all three points at Udinese on their last time out. This win has taken them up to fourth in the table and only three points off second place. A win against Parma would help l’Viola maintain their charge to secure a regular birth in the premier European competition. Newly promoted Parma have impressed everyone this year by showing form that not only should secure their place in Serie A but also could see them gain entry to the Europa League on their first time of asking. Seventh place, one point behind Fiorentina and only four points behind second place show that the Gialloblu are in no uncertain terms back to the big time.
Injuries still plague Fiorentina, as most notably the talents of Adrian Mutu and wonder-kid Stevan Jovetic are still missing and the goals these players produce can often be the difference between winning and loosing. This will hamper the options that they have up front with the starting strikers Alberto Gilardino and Mario Alberto Santana having to shoulder most of the responsibility with Jose Ignacio Castillo an option on the bench. With one eye on the Champions League Fiorentina will have to find the best of all their players as it is games in the league such as this that become defining moments as to whether next season they will be welcoming teams such as Liverpool and Marseille to the Stadio Artemio Franchi. Slip ups away to Genoa and Napoli at home added to the defeat in Rome will be fresh in the memory and Cesare Prandelli will be hoping that the home advantage will help his team gain the upper hand and find holes in Parma’s leaky defence.
14 Natali – 2 Koldrup –19 Gobbi – 29 De Silvestri
4 Donadel – 18 Montolivo – 6 Vargas – 32 Marchionni
14 Santana – 11 Gilardino
Had Parma not been routed 3-1 by strugglers Atalanta and also lost to Cagliari this season then you could have said that they, like their opponents on Saturday, were in Champions League form. For a newly promoted side defeats to AC Milan and Inter Milan are almost expected, however, other than the afore mentioned Parma have, to their credit, taken themselves up to seventh place. They will be under no illusions that a trip to Fiorentina will be no walk in the park as even without some of their attacking options L’Viola will still be able to create chances and threaten Parma’s dubious defence. Francesco Guidolin must be in an interesting situation right now. On the one hand he is being criticised for leaking too many goals but on the flip side his team lies in seventh place. It’s true that players from his five man midfield can drop back and cover his three man defence, but this tactic has come apart against the bigger teams.
2 Panucci – 15 Dellafiore – 6 Lucarelli
5 Zaccardo -14 Galloppa – 4 Morrone – 3 Antonelli – 8 Lunardini
43 Paloschi – 86 Bojinov
This game could be one of the most entertaining of the season so far. Both teams like to attack and both have the ability to score goals. Add to this Parma’s urgency to secure 40 pointts so that they can maybe focus on the next target, and the fact that Fiorentina will have one eye on the upcoming game in the Champions League and it is possible to see Parma maybe taking something away from this game. Had Adrian Mutu and Stevan Jovetic been fit then this would have looked less likely, but with all the pressure lying on ex-Parma front man Alberto Gilardino it does beg the question if Fiorentina will have enough fire power. Fiorentina will also have to make sure they get the three points as the next league fixture sees them travel to Inter and this is a daunting task for any team. One thing that is normally true of Fiorentina vs Parma is that there are goals and a repeat of last years 3-1 score line would not be a surprise.