Cavani Coming Home: Palermo – NapoliBy: LorenzoRosanero | April 22nd, 2011
Saturday, April 23, 2011 15.00
Stadio Renzo Barbera, Palermo, Sicilia
On March 11, 2007, Palermo was busy battling it out with Fiorentina when in the second half a substitution was sent in. A virtually unknown kid from Uruguay named Edinson Cavani stepped onto the pitch to make his debut in rosanero after signing with the club earlier in the year during the winter transfer market. Cavani would make his mark shortly thereafter, smashing home a thunderous volley.
Edinson Cavani had a fantastic career with Palermo over the next three seasons. Sure, he had his ups and downs but El Matador had plenty of talent. He could always be found sacrificing for the team and the thought was if he were able to be more lethal in the area, Cavani could become great. Nonetheless, his 34 goals in 109 matches for Palermo put him on the club’s all-time scoring list in Serie A.
At the end of last season, it was evident that Cavani would be moving on. With the emergence of Abel Hernandez, Cavani’s place within the team was up in the air. During the offseason, when Napoli purchased the striker for a decent sum of money, many in Palermo still had mixed feelings about the deal. However, nobody, even in their wildest dreams, expected the explosion of Cavani this year. The Uruguayan has been phenomenal this year and that lethality has shown itself to the tune of 25 goals. He has been played in a position much more suited to him in a team that allows him to shine. There are no hard feelings from many of the Palermo faithful over his departure and Saturday’s match will be the first time Matador returns to the place he called home.
While Palermo has very little to play for in the league beyond pride, Napoli still has plenty on the line. The Southern cousins are still clinging to the small hope of a Scudetto while also focusing on solidifying a spot in the Champions League. Zamparini and company have stated that they will not roll over for the partenopei and you can be sure that the rosanero will come out ready to fight. It isn’t hard to be jealous of Napoli’s season this year. After all, with a more competent owner, the Sicilians could just have easily been in the same spot as Napoli is. Nonetheless, Palermo have been buoyed by two consecutive positive results and will look to carry that confidence into the Saturday’s match.
CASSANI, MUNOZ, BOVO, BALZARETTI
MIGLIACCIO, BACINOVIC, NOCERINO
Bench: Benussi, Andelkovic, Carrozzieri, Darmian, Acquah, Kasami, Kurtic, Nappello
There are a long list of absences for Saturday due to injuries. Miccoli, Liverani, Pinilla and Paolucci are all hurt with niggling little problems while Goian is suspended. The absences mean Rossi’s tactical decisions practically pick itself. Expect a return to the 4-3-2-1 with Pastore and Ilicic operating behind Abel Hernandez. Perhaps Acquah could pick up another start in place of Bacinovic, but beyond that, all is set. A beautiful sight to see is Carrozzieri listed among the call-ups after an absence of two years. It’ll be hard to see him get any playing time but perhaps an injury time run-out isn’t out of the question.
With the focus on the Coppa Italia semifinal return leg, the Serie A games become more about obtaining momentum than anything. Certainly, Palermo will want to win just like any other game, but it’ll be interesting to see what kind of motivation they exhibit on the pitch.
SIAMO TERRONI E CE NE VANTIAMOOOO!!!!