Torino vs Palermo Preview

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini laughed off criticism of his decision to reappoint Gian Piero Gasperini as head coach just 19 days after sacking him, ahead of Sunday's trip to Torino.

Football News: Gian Piero Gasperini

Only a few people were genuinely surprised when the fickle Zamparini called time on Alberto Malesani's brief reign at the Renzo Barbera, in which the former Genoa boss collected three points from three draws, but the quick change drew some barbed comments from the mainland.

Lazio chief Claudio Lotito was among those who attacked Zamparini's rash approach to hiring and firing, saying any decision to recruit or dismiss a coach should be taken more carefully.

But, ahead of Sunday's game at Torino, Zamparini told La Repubblica: "I've always wanted to do everything there is to do in life, but taking advice from Lotito is not one of those things.

"His comments were amusing."

Referring to his decision to reappoint Gasperini, he added: "At this moment I am the most desperate man in Italy. And when someone is that desperate they do desperate things."

Gasperini has 12 games to keep Palermo in the top flight and his first task is to record a positive result at the Stadio Olimpico and narrow a six-point gap on 17th-placed Genoa.

Defender Salvatore Aronica serves a one-match ban with Abel Hernandez, Andrea Mantovani and Edgar Barreto unlikely to feature due to injury.

Last weekend saw Torino involved in one of the most exciting games of the season - at an empty stadium - as Cagliari edged a 4-3 victory at the Is Arenas in a match that yielded two red cards and three penalties.

Toro director general Antonio Comi, though, feels there has been a clear anomaly in the number of penalties awarded against his club compared to the number awarded to them.

Comi said: "Ten against us and just four awarded to us. These are sobering numbers because I honestly think we have a team that wants to play football - one that doesn't speculate but just attacks.

"We have the utmost respect for the authorities and the referees and we are not trying to make excuses, because we are having an excellent season.

"We are staying calm and not playing the victim because we know that referees can make mistakes, as can players and coach.

"We do expect the proper amount of care and attention to be paid, though - nothing more than that."

Both Abou Diop and the returning Angelo Ogbonna were sent off in Sardinia and serve suspensions while Marko Bakic, Mario Santana and Jonathas sit out through injury as Torino bid to score their first goal against Palermo since November 2008.



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