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Parma-Milan Preview: Of Giants and Dwarves

No, this post is not about the herculean Ibrahimovic and his diminuitive Parma counterpart, Giovinco. Although I did look up their height and Ibra is literally over a foot taller than the tiny player. No, this post is about top of the table vs. 16th in the table, the only Italian team to qualify for the quarterfinals of the Champions League vs. the team fighting for their Serie A lives. Sound cut and dry? Read on.


No one ever really wants to play the desperate team. Why? Because they have the best motivation – survival. Anything else, and it’s easy to become complacent. Additionally, Parma boss Roberto Donadoni is already the second coach this year, after Colomba, and has been unable to correct the tailspin Parma are in. Last year, Parma finished a respectable 12th, this year, they are in 16th with not a lot of hope. Desperate team, desperate manager, and we are playing in their house. Recipe for disaster.

The Parma dwarves are coming off of a terrible run of form, their last 5 games have been L-D-D-L-D, two of those games at home. But in a way, that makes them more desperate, or more determined, and they have the capacity to be giant-killers.

Giovinco often surprises with his wee little legs.

Their draw away to Atalanta last weekend featured Pavarini; Paletta, Lucarelli, Zaccardo; Valdes, Mariga, Musacci, Modesto, Biabiany; Okaka, Giovinco. It is rumored that Mirante and Galoppa could return from injury. Despite their position in the table, Parma have some good players, they just need to put it all together and play like a team. And with wee little Giovinco running around, our back line will need to be very careful.

Speaking of our back line, Abate pulled a muscle in training today and will be unavailable for Parma. Which means our back line will likely be Bonera, Yepes, Silva, and either Mesbah or Antonini. Yikes. Our midfield may be boosted by the return of Boateng, but it is also rumored that Aquilani will start. So likely Aquilani, Ambrosini, Nocerino or Muntari, and Emanuelson behind the strikers. (Boateng likely rested at first for Tuesday.) Up front, with Robinho in doubt, I’d say El Shaarawy starts with Ibrahimovic. Also, Maxi Lopez could return, but I’d expect him to start on the bench.

Will he make it back?

Additionally, while Parma don’t have anything else to worry about for a week, Milan have our Coppa Italia Semifinal second leg to worry about on Tuesday. And Allegri will still have to consult his crystal ball to try to figure out who to play to get the three points, and who to rest to be ready for Juventus. Add in all of the injuries, and I would not want his job.

The image of giants meeting dwarves seems rather humorous. But on Saturday, we will need to take charge of the dwarves early on and stay vigilant for 90 minutes if we are to defeat them. Mr. Donadoni may need to find a new job after we are done with them, but that is the risk one takes managing in Italy. We are on a mission for the Scudetto, and we can’t afford to let a few vertically challenged people take down us giants.

Tune in tomorrow for Champions League Quarterfinals Draw Information

Parma vs. Milan
Saturday, March 17th • 18:00 CET (1:00pm EDT)
This match will be shown on RAI International and ESPN3 in the U.S.


This post inspired by the music of New Order