Lazio and Parma have both started the campaign in style and are in 7th and 6th place respectively, with an almost identical record. Lazio will be hoping that home advantage will aid the mission to gain all three points and help them get back on track after a few poor results. The Biancocelesti had started the season well with victory in the Super Coppa followed by back-to-back league wins against Atalanta and Chievo. The last two weeks have seen Juventus brush Lazio aside and a European defeat, whilst the weekend saw a draw with Catania in a game they should have won. Parma have been in good form since their return to Serie A. A win at Catania and a draw at Udinese was followed by a credible defeat at the hands of Inter. However, the weekend saw them back on form as they finished off Palermo in convincing style. This game has no clear favourite, although both teams will be confident of gaining three points.
Tommaso Rocchi and Cristian Brocchi are both still out injured, however, Ousmane Dabo has returned to fitness and will be handed a start by Coach Davide Ballardini. Fernando Muslera will keep his place in goal as he is having an impressive season so far and the back four will be similar, if not identical, to that which faced Catania on the weekend. Whether Julio Cruz will start instead of Pasquale Foggia is still up for debate – the Argentine’s form has been impressive of late and it will be a big decision on whether to use him as an impact sub or reward his recent performances. Lazio have just started to slip off the pace, even though the season is still in its infancy. Critics are just starting to mention the absence of Goran Pandev, a subject not mentioned after the first wins of the season were recorded. The rebel striker’s absence could be a hot topic again should the Biancocelesti fail to win this week.
2 Lichtsteiner – 87 Diakité – 13 Siviglia – 11 Kolarov
23 Meghni – 6 Dabo – 5 Mauri
10 Zárate – 17 Foggia
Parma are in good form, only the champions have beaten the newly promoted side so far this term and this defeat was quickly followed with a win at home to Palermo. Fans of the Gialloblu could not have hoped for a better start, and as their team travels to the capital to do battle in the Stadio Olimpico there is good cause for optimism. It is probable that the line up will stay the same as the XI who triumphed on the weekend. With no immediate injury worries, Coach Francesco Guidolin can focus on getting his team to perform as they have been doing in recent weeks. The acquisition of Cristian Zaccardo is certainly paying off, his goal this weekend showing that he is a well rounded defender capable of chipping in at the other end. Alberto Paloschi’s form is critical as his goals have been key to Parma’s success so far and he will hope to continue this in Rome.
5 Zaccardo – 24 Paci – 2 Panucci – 6 Lucarelli
17 Mariga – 4 Morrone – 14 Galloppa
20 Biabiany – 43 Paloschi – 9 Lanzafame
This really could be the pick of the mid-week games. Both teams started the season so well before being defeated, Parma have bounced back immediately with three points at the weekend whilst Lazio’s draw at Catania only showed that they are not firing on all cylinders. However, home advantage could be the key and the Stadio Olimpico will no doubt be as hostile as normal to welcome the men from Emilia-Romagna. Parma will not be intimidated – they have players with the necessary experience of arenas such as the Olimpico – and will want to take the game to Lazio early and test their resolve. The game itself could promise to be a classic with both teams expected to play good attacking football. Parma will want to gain as many early points as possible, it is a long season and even if 6th place now nostalgically brings back memories of the Zola and Asprilla years, the cold truth of relegation will be much fresher in the mind.