Parma vs Chievo Preview

Parma president Tommaso Ghirardi has rallied Gialloblu fans to pack the Stadio Ennio Tardini for the first game of the club's centenary season.

Benalouane with an air of arrogance.

While addressing an excited crowd at the city's Piazza Garibaldi, Ghirardi helped introduce Roberto Donadoni's new-look squad which includes Italy striker Antonio Cassano and on-loan Fiorentina defender Mattia Cassani.

Expectations have been raised following a 10th-placed finish but Ghirardi warned that opening-day opponents Chievo will not be cowed into submission unless there is a fiercely partisan atmosphere.

He told "Our fans must fill the Tardini on Sunday. This will be a difficult game against a tough opponent - a club I hold in high esteem.

"We will keep trying to improve and I can see enthusiasm and great concentration from the lads.

"That's what makes me so confident, but we need to keep our feet on the ground."

The capture of the mercurial Cassano from Inter Milan represents a real statement of intent from Parma but Ghirardi is especially pleased to have retained the services of another forward, Nicola Sansone, who had been close to joining Sassuolo.

"Cassano is looking good and I'm happy with the love Sansone's getting, he's a really humble lad," Ghirardi added.

"But all the players are in good condition and we've had a great pre-season. Now we just need results."

French striker Cyril Thereau wants Chievo to make a strong start and avoid another season of struggle.

The Flying Donkeys may have finished 12th under Eugenio Corini but an impressive run in the spring was required given the dismal start that cost Domenico Di Carlo his job in October.

Giuseppe Sannino has now replaced Corini and Thereau is urging his team-mates to subscribe to their new coach's rhetoric.

He told Chievo's official website: "We're expecting another difficult season but we're listening to our coach's advice and the players are improving week by week.

"We need to make the most of what we learned last season, when we started badly in the league but managed to regroup and achieve survival quite comfortably."

Sannino has no injury concerns as he prepares to hand debuts to summer signings Alessio Sestu, Maxwell Acosty and Ivan Radovanovic.


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