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Serie A

  • April 19, 2014
  • • 9:00 AM
  • • Stadio Ennio Tardini, Parma
  • Referee: G. Rocchi
  • • Attendance: 16289

Serie A Preview: Parma - Inter

Serie A Preview: Parma - Inter

Roberto Donadoni's men sit sixth in the standings, just two points behind their visitors, but the Nerazzurri are coming off a resounding win at Sampdoria.

Inter can take a huge step to securing Europa League soccer for next season by taking three points from Saturday's trip to Parma.

With neither side boasting particularly impressive records in Serie A of late, they go into the fixture at the Stadio Ennio Tardini separated by just two points.

The hosts are on course to secure European soccer through a sixth-place finish, thanks to Napoli and Fiorentina contesting the Coppa Italia final. However, while they may look to reel in Inter, Roberto Donadoni will also be wary of a trio of teams beneath Parma that all have 48 points and could sneak into Europe at his side's expense.

If Inter can build on its 4-0 victory at Sampdoria last time out, it could move five points clear of sixth place going into the final four games of the season and, with further investment in the squad expected over the offseason, European soccer could prove a useful bargaining tool for owner Erick Thohir.

Inter's current crop will likely have its work cut out at the Tardini, though — even against an out-of-form Parma side. Despite taking just four points from a possible 15, much of Parma's successful season has been built on its home form.

Just two of their eight league defeats this season have come on home turf — against leaders Juventus and second-place Roma — while Inter has failed to win in its last four trips to the Tardini. Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored twice in Inter's last away win over Parma in 2008 but defender Andrea Ranocchia believes last weekend's dominant win over Sampdoria can give the club added impetus to end that run.

"It's crucial that Inter qualify for the Europa League," he said this week. "(The) win in Genoa was very important. We played a match in a difficult stadium and things immediately went in our favor. We did well to take home the three points."

After a strong start to 2014 that saw the club go 11 Serie A games unbeaten, Parma's form has dipped of late and it needed a late Raffaele Palladino goal to secure a point against Bologna last time out.

Donadoni feels the fact his team is in contention for a European spot represents progression following its 10th-place finish last season.

"I don't think at the beginning of the season we could have thought of this," the former Italy international told the club's official website. "Inter have a different expectation from ours and a potential which is not comparable to Parma. This means that our players have done something extraordinary. We will play as we have always done."

Inter will be without the suspended Ranocchia but neither side has fresh injury concerns following last weekend's action.

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