The Sicilians will be desperate to turn around their fortunes and bounce back from last weekend's defeat to Bologna...
Stopping The Rot
Palermo have suffered from bouts of inconsistency this campaign and despite remaining one of the main contenders for a top-four finish in Serie A, the Sicilians are uncertain whether they would even get into Europe next season as at the moment they are stationed outside the top six.
Last weekend Palermo went down 1-0 to Bologna on the road, following their shock 4-2 defeat to Fiorentina at home. Back-to-back defeats came after back-to-back victories over Juventus and Lecce and have placed them two points off a Europa League slot and a massive eight points behind Lazio, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League position.
Coach Delio Rossi is coming under increased pressure and although that he will not be sacked anytime between now and the end of the 2010-11 campaign, he needs to reform his team, re-inject confidence in the players and return them to winning ways.
With the Rosanero boasting an encouraging record at home with eight wins out of a possible 13 in the league, they should be trying to armour themselves with confidence.
Home or away, Udinese do not disappoint when it comes to giving the spectators and the viewers unalloyed entertainment. The Bianconeri may have failed to score against Brescia last weekend but the goalless draw in Udine saw them extend their unbeaten league run to nine matches – except losing to Sampdoria in the Coppa Italia on penalties, Udinese have yet to taste defeat in 2011.
At the moment Udinese are fifth in the Serie A table with 44 points from 26 matches. With just four points separating them from fourth-place Lazio, the Zebrette are very much in contention for a place in next season’s Europe’s premier club competition, and with their current stride they should be confident of accomplishing just that.
Udinese’s away form, though, isn’t as impressive as their record at home is as they have lost more league encounters on the road than they have won. However, Francesco Guidolin’s side have won their last three away matches in Serie A, including that against Juventus in Turin.
Having got the better of Palermo 2-1 in Udine in the reverse fixture in October, Udinese will travel to Sicily basking in hope and optimism.
Cassani, Miccoli, Pinilla and Goian are injured for the Sicilians. Carrozzieri and Garcia are suspended.
Basta, Ferronetti and Angella are out for the Bianconeri.