Parma brace for resurgent Roma threat

Parma president Tommaso Ghirardi is urging extreme caution ahead of Sunday's visit to a Roma side who have roared back into the top half of the Serie A table.

The catalysts for Roma's comeback...

When Parma beat the Giallorossi 3-2 at the Stadio Ennio Tardini in October, the cracks were starting to show in Zdenek Zeman's ill-fated reign at the capital club.

The Crociati would maintain their grip on a Europa League berth while Roma slumped down the table through the winter but the two club's roles have been reversed since Aurelio Andreazzoli replaced Zeman in February.

Parma did snap an eight-game winless streak against Torino last time out but they are now nine points and five places shy of seventh-placed Roma.

Ghirardi told "I don't know Andreazzoli but he seems like a calm and balanced guy. Maybe that's what they needed. He has given the players a sense of responsibility.

"In the reverse fixture we swept past them but Roma are now a very strong opponent. But I must say that Parma have the required quality to make life difficult for the Giallorossi."

McDonald Mariga, Fabiano Santacroce, Andrea Coda and Djamel Mesbah are all unavailable through injury as the Gialloblu bid to rectify their terrible record at Roma, where they have lost 11 times over 14 recent away days.

Ghirardi added: "We had a great first half of the season but since then we have been a little lacking.

"We need to pay a bit more attention to what the smaller teams have been doing. Even Roma aren't considered to be on a par with Juventus, AC Milan and Inter Milan.

"If we continue to ignore what all the teams with a lower profile are doing then we will be caught out as they continue to improve."

There were mixed results on and off the pitch for Roma this week, as a potential 100million euro investment fell through days after the club agreed a 10-year sponsorship deal with kit manufacturer Nike.

Sheikh Adnan Adel Aref al Qaddumi al Shtewi failed to meet the deadline to prove he had the funds to formalise a preliminary agreement over investment reached in February.

Roma were also held to a frustrating 1-1 draw at Udinese, with striker Pablo Osvaldo missing a gilt-edged opportunity to win the game in the 90th minute.

The injured duo of midfielder Miralem Pjanic and striker Mattia Destro will not feature against Parma.

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