Di Natale absence a worry for Udinese

Udinese head coach Francesco Guidolin will sorely miss his modern-day Marco van Basten as veteran striker Antonio Di Natale sits out the trip to Parma.

Udinese vs Chievo: Medhi Benatia, Di Natale

The 35-year-old brought up his 20th goal of the season with a matchwinning brace at Chievo last weekend, volleying home his second from an improbable angle to evoke Holland striker Van Basten's timeless finish against Denmark in 1992.

But Di Natale also picked up his fifth yellow card of the campaign to rule himself out of the trip to the Stadio Ennio Tardini, where Guidolin must mastermind a late push for Europe without his talisman.

He told La Repubblica: "Can a goal take your breath away? Yes.

"He scored a goal from an incredible angle, I would compare it to the famous Van Basten strike from the European Championships.

"I've never seen anyone else like Toto. I've never coached a big club but I know what a true champion looks like. It will be difficult without him at Parma."

Udinese are ninth and six points shy of a Europa League place before visiting Parma, who are a further six points behind.

Guidolin added: "To be considered as one of the teams that can aspire to a place in Europe fills us with pride, even though we know how difficult it will be.

"Last year we had three or four strong teams chasing us, this time we have them all ahead of us."

Defender Mehdi Benatia joins Di Natale on a one-match ban with midfielder Giampiero Pinzi still sidelined through injury.

Parma, meanwhile, are missing suspended midfielder Marco Parolo while McDonald Mariga, Andrea Coda, Djamel Mesbah, Raffaelle Palladino and Emilio Maceachen struggle for fitness.

Gialloblu boss Roberto Donadoni issued a terse warning to any players already thinking about their summer holidays, with the club drifting towards mid-table obscurity.

Donadoni was far from impressed with a lethargic goalless draw at Siena and urged a more energetic and dedicated display.

He told fcparma.com: "I don't think I was the only person who was angry after the Siena draw but that chapter is now closed.

"Now we are only thinking about doing better against Udinese. They have done well lately so they have the psychological advantage.

"Keeping concentration levels high across the last seven matches is my challenge and the team must understand that giving up now would be an unforgivable error."

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