The Bianconeri are on a high and are pushing for Europe, which will inflate their confidence in Parma...Inching Towards Safety
Parma appear to have restored things in the league as far as reaching out of the tentacles of the relegation octopus is concerned. With 15 points from 14 matches, the Ducali are 15th in the Serie A standings and, more importantly, are three points above the relegation zone.
The point-margin isn't huge as a defeat against Udinese on Sunday could suck them into the bottom three, but with the clubs below them struggling for points Parma will be hopeful of puling out further.
Indeed, Pasquale Marino's side's results in recent weeks have been encouraging. Last weekend they took the fight to Italian and European champions Inter but lost 5-2 in the end. Prior to that, Parma had won two of their three league fixtures and had lost just once in seven.
Pushing For Europe
For much of last season Udinese struggled for survival in the Italian top flight but things have changed for the Bianconeri this season. With key striker Antonio Di Natale back to his best, Francesco Guidolin's side are pushing for a place in the top six and are currently ninth with 20 points from 14 matches, just three behind Palermo, who occupy the final Europa League slot.
Last weekend Udinese garnered a hugely significant and morale-boosting 3-1 victory over Europe-chasing Napoli at the Stadio Friuli. It was their second win in a row in the league and their third in four matches. Di Natale was the star man of that encounter as the veteran Italy international netted all three goals.
Away from home, though, it's a different story for Udinese, who have won just twice and scored only five goals on the road. Their last two away fixtures have resulted in defeats but against Parma they will be confident of picking up at least a point.
Paloschi, Galloppa and Marques are injured and will sit out the game.
Basta and Ferronetti are unavailable for the trip to Parma as they are nursing injuries.
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