Our prediction for this Serie A match:
Despite producing a fine display against Juve in Turin, ten-man Sassuolo eventually suffered a 3-1 loss to the title holders. The Neroverdi aim to get back on course as soon as possible, and bookies see them as hot favourites to beat Parma on home soil. Pedro Obiang is banned following his awful tackle on Federico Chiesa, but Sassuolo boss Roberto De Zerbi has a number of high-profile footballers to choose from.
The Gli Emiliani, on the other hand, are running down a blind alley at the moment, with the team losing each of their previous five league fixtures. Since Parma conceded 14 goals in total in the previous five league fixtures, anything but a routine home win would be a big surprise. Gervinho has overcome his injury, but Lautaro Valenti, who was forced to leave the field in the first half of the match against Lazio, is unlikely to feature against Sassuolo.
Highlighted Player (Vlad Chiriches):
Vlad Iulian Churches had an unusual path to the biggest stage, spending some time at the Benfica youth academy before returning to Romania to start his professional career at International. The central defender arrived to Steaua Bucuresti via Pandurii Targu Jiu and he needed just a year and a half to secure a big club move.
After snubbing a number of offers from Italian Serie A, Chiriches joined Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2013, becoming Steaua’s record transfer in the process. However, the Romania international did not enjoy the best of starts to his career in England and he was sold to Napoli after two somewhat disappointing seasons at White Hart Lane.
Chiriches has struggled for playing time at Stadio San Paolo as well, and he will probably need to play on regular basis if he is to realise his full potential. Meanwhile, the powerful defender remains an important member of the Romania national team, having earned more than 40 caps for the Tricolorii since making his debut in 2011.
Highlighted Team (Parma):
Founded in 1913, Parma is considered one of the most famous Italian clubs. The Gialloblu play home games in white shirts with a dark blue cross and dark blue shorts. Speaking of their away colours, Parma footballers wear yellow-blue kits on the travels. Parma have yet to win the Serie A trophy, but they did well to lift the UEFA Cup trophy on two occasions (1994/1995, 1998/1999).
To make things even better for Parma fans, the Gialloblu won the European Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1992/1993 season, with the team beating Royal Antwerp in the title game 3-1. A number of top-class footballers played for Parma in the past: Hernan Crespo, Roberto Mancini, Juan Veron, Roberto Mancini, Dino Baggio, Fabio Cannavaro and Gianluigi Buffon.
The Gialloblu welcome their rivals at Stadio Ennio Tardini, which was opened in 1923. The venue can hold up to 27,906 spectators. Bologna are considered Parma’s biggest rivals and there have always been fireworks in matches between the two sides.