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Apr 24, 2021 at 5pm UK
Hernani (29'), Gervinho (49'), Mihaila (54')
Brugman (56'), Cornelius (76'), Grassi (78')
FT(HT: 1-3)
Magallan (14'), Simy (42', 69' pen.), Ounas (45+1')
Messias (71'), Henrique (90+2')

Preview: Parma vs. Crotone - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Parma vs. Crotone - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Parma and Crotone, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Both bound for Serie B next month, Parma and Serie A basement boys Crotone meet at Stadio Ennio Tardini on Saturday with only pride to play for after disastrous campaigns set to end in demotion.

Respectively 11 and 16 points adrift of safety ahead of the weekend's action, the unfortunate pair were both beaten in midweek and have won just seven games between them all season.

Match preview

Though expectations were low ahead of their midweek trip to Turin, when Gaston Brugman gave Parma the lead against Juventus with a superb free-kick, hopes of a major shock rose.

However, an unlikely Alex Sandro brace helped the outgoing champions to turn the game around either side of the break, as Juve ran out 3-1 winners and the Gialloblu returned home empty-handed.

Having allowed previous opponents Cagliari to claw their way back from the brink to steal a dramatic 4-3 victory in a must-win clash last weekend, the final nail has now surely been applied to Parma's coffin.

With the club's remarkable renaissance since falling to the depths of Serie D set to be brought to a halt by relegation to the second tier - as the Crociati are 11 points adrift of 17th-placed Benevento - they will now play for pride against the only side below them in the standings.

Faced by a challenging upcoming fixture list, which still features Lazio and Atalanta, coach Roberto D'Aversa and his misfiring charges will surely want to avoid being overtaken by a team that has propped up the division for month after month.

Fortunately for Parma, they may have collected only one point in their last five outings and failed to win since the unexpected triumph over Roma last month, but that record pales in comparison with Crotone's ruinous run.

Though the previous meeting between these perilously placed clubs, at Stadio Ezio Scida in December, was one of just four successes all season long for Crotone, the Calabrian strugglers have yet to win away from home in the 2020-21 campaign.

Their 2-1 win that day came thanks to a double by Brazilian forward Junior Messias - a rare bright spark, alongside 17-goal top scorer Simy this term - but points have been scarce ever since.

Following another reverse in midweek - this time a 1-0 loss to Sampdoria - the Squali's boss Serse Cosmi admitted relegation will be their fate and set out his aim for the team to finish their brief stay in Serie A "with dignity" during the six remaining games.

With a total of 38 goals at either end in their eight most recent fixtures, Crotone's games have rarely been dull. Such a charitable nature in defence has led to them conceding a woeful tally of 80 league goals so far though, leaving the productive Messias-Simy pairing with far too much to do in the final third.

Going into Saturday's game, Cosmi's men are currently on the longest run without a draw in Serie A - 20 games in all - and are the only side in the top five European leagues yet to pick up a point from a losing position. Should they fall behind, then, the odds are stacked against them earning a first win on the road since their promotion last summer.

Parma Serie A form:
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L

Crotone Serie A form:
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • L

Team News

Parma striker Roberto Inglese - who managed just 14 Serie A appearances this season, without scoring a single goal - has undergone surgery to resolve a long-standing ankle issue and will now miss the rest of the campaign.

In addition, home coach Roberto D'Aversa has a familiarly long injury list to contend with, as Joshua Zirkzee, Riccardo Gagliolo, Andrea Conti, Simone Iacoponi, Wylan Cyprien and Juraj Kucka are all expected to miss out once again.

Simone Colombi is set to return to the bench after a rare start in midweek, so Luigi Sepe will reclaim the goalkeeping gloves, while the back four in front of him should remain unchanged.

In attack, both Andreas Cornelius and Valentin Mihalia hope to feature from the start, with veteran striker Graziano Pelle and Romanian winger Dennis Man the most likely to drop out of the XI that lost to Juventus.

The visitors will travel north with only injured pair Ahmed Benali and Luca Marrone expected to miss out, so any changes Serse Cosmi makes may be to freshen up legs and minds after another disheartening defeat on Wednesday.

Kofi Djidji overcame an ankle issue to start against Sampdoria, but was substituted during the game, so Giuseppe Cuomo is on standby to start in the Crotone back three.

Meanwhile, up front, Adam Ounas may be drafted back into the side following a rare recent blank for the Squali's attack in midweek.

Parma possible starting lineup:
Sepe; Laurini, Osorio, Bani, Pezzella; Hernani, Brugman, Kurtic; Mihaila, Cornelius, Gervinho

Crotone possible starting lineup:
Cordaz; Djidji, Golemic, Luperto; Molina, Zanellato, Petriccione, Reca; Messias; Ounas, Simy

We say: Parma 3-2 Crotone

Short of a sporting miracle, neither side can realistically hope to achieve Serie A salvation next month, so can approach this encounter in a spirit of playing for pride.

With both defensive units clearly lacking in stability and cohesion, goals should be expected at the Tardini, with the hosts' superior playing personnel helping them to edge past their luckless Calabrian counterparts.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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