Out-of-sorts Palermo sit four points adrift of safety after losing their last three league fixtures, meaning the Rosanero have no choice but to try and win this game. That is easier said than done when we know that Lazio are on a four-match winning streak and very motivated to put extra pressure on leaders Juventus by winning at Renzo Barbera.
Six defeats in last seven games
Palermo needed a lot of time to establish themselves as genuine top table side in Serie A, but the Sicilian club quickly squandered everything they worked for. With their squad getting weaker in every transfer window, nobody was surprised to see the Rosanero in huge problems at the start of the new season. Given that only two players who could create something out of nothing, Miccoli and Ilicic, are also nearing the exit door, Palermo look destined for the drop at the moment. The team have been utterly disappointing of late, losing six of last seven games in all competitions, with three straight defeats at home proving Renzo Barbera is no longer a fortress it once was. Salvatore Aronica and Andrea Dossena have been signed in January to increase competition for places, but after being on the fringes at San Paolo for so long, the two players will need a lot of time to get back to their best. By the time that happens, Palermo will have probably lost all chances to survive.
Key midfielder Edgar Barreto is suspended, while Franco Brienza is injury doubt. Abel Hernandez and Andrea Mantovani remain in the infirmary.
Six wins on the bounce
Club’s decision not to make big changes to the playing squad, as well as their bold move to appoint virtually unknown Vladimir Petkovic to replace Edy Reja, helped the Biancocelesti play to their potential in the first part of the season and saw them become genuine title contenders. While the team had some problems with injuries and hectic schedule in the opening exchanges, they managed to stabilize their form at the start of November and have been absolutely outstanding ever since. The team are currently on a 14-match unbeaten run (11W 3D) and have won last six games in all competitions, which gives them reason for optimism ahead of the clash at Renzo Barbera. Top scorer Miroslav Klose may not be able to help his teammates in Palermo, but with Sergio Floccari doing so well of late, that shouldn’t be such a big problem.
Ederson and Onazi are both unavailable, while Miroslav Klose, Alvaro Gonzalez and Abdoulay Konko are all injury doubts.
Palermo are all over the place at the moment and after losing their last three home games, the Rosanero will struggle to match in-form Lazio. The Biancocelesti are now effectively in the title race and having done so well of late, they look a good bet to continue the excellent run of results at Renzo Barbera.
Top pick: Lazio Draw no bet 1.75 (3/4) @ BetVictor
Alternative pick 1: Away win 2.50 (3/2) @ Stan James
Alternative pick 2: Under 2.5 goals 1.75 (3/4) @ Betfair
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