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Jan 24, 2021 at 7.45pm UK

Kucka (32')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Yoshida (25'), Balde (34')
Balde (32')

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

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

After a spirit-sapping run of five straight defeats was finally ended last week, Parma entertain mid-table Sampdoria at the Tardini on Sunday, aiming to clamber out of the Serie A drop zone.

Meanwhile, Samp travel to Emilia-Romagna buoyed by two wins from their last three outings, which sees them just inside the top half of the table.

Match preview

Days after the browbeaten Gialloblu had picked up their first league point in over a month against Sassuolo, newly-appointed coach Roberto D'Aversa sent out a patched-up Parma XI to face hot favourites Lazio in the Coppa Italia in midweek.

It was a tie where thoughts of an upset were dampened by Marco Parolo's first-half opener for the Roman side, though it ultimately took until the final minute for a Parma side - who were without most of their first-choice forwards and defenders - to be forced out of the cup.

Ahead of Sampdoria's visit, it remains glaringly apparent why the Crociati have slumped so badly this winter. Shot-shy Parma have registered the fewest goals in Serie A so far and they have now failed to score at all in their last six home games.

'New' coach D'Aversa - who first took over in 2016 and guided Parma all the way from Serie C to the top tier - left the club last summer after a fallout with the board, but has inherited a squad bereft of confidence in the attacking third.

Their desperation for all three points this weekend will be doubled by the fact that their ongoing winless run of league games could equal Parma's longest-ever streak without Serie A victory - if it stretches to a tenth match on Sunday.

Claudio Ranieri's pleasingly unpredictable side have surpassed expectations in terms of entertainment value this season, though have still managed to find themselves safely ensconced in mid-table mediocrity approaching Serie A's halfway stage.

New signing - and inheritor of the hallowed Samp 'number nine' - Ernesto Torregrossa came off the bench to win his new club's last outing against Udinese last week, after reintegrated 'bad boy' Antonio Candreva dinked a Panenka-style penalty past Juan Musso to draw Sampdoria level.

That victory at Marassi followed two defeats and an unexpected victory over Scudetto-chasing Inter Milan since the turn of the year and sees the Blucerchiati sitting in tenth place - far short of European contention but also well above the bottom-half morass.

Thanks largely to his penalty-spot prowess, Candreva has now hit the mark in three successive matches and has begun to re-establish himself as an integral part of Ranieri's first XI. With ex-Brescia striker Torregrossa notching on his debut and Keita Balde now returned to full fitness, the veteran coach has a plethora of attacking options from which to choose - not even mentioning his tireless favourite Fabio Quagliarella.

Sampdoria will particularly look forward to visiting down-on-their-luck Parma this time out, as in their last three trips to the Tardini, the Genoese side have won twice and drawn the other - scoring eight goals in the process.

Even though Samp have conceded at least once in each of their last 19 away games, few would back against them claiming at least a point to end a satisfactory first half of the 2020-21 camapaign.

Parma Serie A form: LLLLLD
Parma form (all competitions): LLLLDL

Sampdoria Serie A form: WLLWLW

Team News

As both Andreas Cornelius and Roberto Inglese are still struggling to be fit for injury-decimated Parma, top scorer Gervinho (with just four) may have to improvise as a 'false nine', as Juan Brunetta had to do in midweek.

Also doubtful for the home side are first-choices Yann Karamoh and Bruno Alves, with Yordan Osorio, Lautaro Valenti and Vincent Laurini all definitely ruled out. Juraj Kucka will be fit to start though, and should be joined by Jasmin Kurtic and Gaston Brugman in the side.

Claudio Ranieri is expected to deploy Keita Balde alongside Fabio Quagliarella in attack, with Ernesto Torregrossa ready to make an impact from the bench. An increasingly dynamic-looking midfield unit features Antonio Candreva and Jakub Jankto on the flanks, with Morten Thorsby and Albin Ekdal - who signed a new contract this week - in the engine room.

Only Lorenzo Tonelli and Manolo Gabbiadini remain out of action for Sampdoria, who travel to Parma with a settled side.

Parma possible starting lineup:
Sepe; Iacoponi, Dierckx, Gagliolo, Pezzella; Hernani, Brugman, Kurtic; Kucka, Gervinho, Mihalia

Sampdoria possible starting lineup:
Audero; Bereszynski, Yoshida, Colley, Augello; Candreva, Thorsby, Ekdal, Jankto; Keita, Quagliarella

We say: Parma 1-1 Sampdoria

Demonstrating a greater resolve since the return of Roberto D'Aversa to the dugout, Parma can defy the odds - and injury list - to pick up a second successive league point.

This Sampdoria side's results have been scattergun so far and they have only won once on the road since October, so could slip up against defiant opposition at the Tardini.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 1.5 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.Over 1.5:data

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