Francesco Guidolin admits it is a special game, but the Udinese Coach puts “personal” issues to one side when facing his former club Palermo.
The tactician had four different spells at the Stadio Barbera, starting with their first promotion to Serie A in 30 years back in 2004, but was continually fired and rehired by fiery President Maurizio Zamparini.
“Tomorrow’s game is important, above all for the table, and we must do everything possible to get a good result,” said Guidolin.
“I am thinking only about this. Memories and the past are important, but they are also personal. Now all that matters is Udinese and the standings. I thank Zamparini for saying nice things about me and my work, but I think that if we are up there then the credit goes to my players.
“I experienced many joyous moments in Palermo and think I left behind good memories in all those I worked with, above all the President.”
“Palermo have always done well on home turf and with 10 wins at the Barbera have built their season on that record. I have a great deal of respect for a side with strong and experienced players. If they had done as well on their travels, then Palermo would be on a par with us in the table.”
Nonetheless, Coach Bortolo Mutti is already thought to be at risk after one point from the last four games. Guidolin already got Delio Rossi fired by Palermo last year when his Udinese conquered the Barbera 7-0.
“Lino is an excellent Coach, but our line of work is precarious. I remain convinced he has broad shoulders and can overcome these difficult moments.
“That was a game where everything went right for us and everything went wrong for them. It has a place in my photo album of wonderful memories, but it is in the past. I think that was the apex of Udinese’s away performances, which overall last season was among the best I’ve seen in the last 30 years.
“I am also convinced Zamparini, who is from the Friuli region, would be very proud to beat Udinese, but that doesn’t depend on last season’s result.”
Dusan Basta is in the Udinese squad after a long injury lay-off, but Antonio Floro Flores, Diego Fabbrini and Maurizio Domizzi are all suspended.
They join the injured Mehdi Benatia, Damiano Ferronetti, Emmanuel Badu, Paulo Vitor Barreto and Mauricio Isla, so striker Matej Vydra receives his first Serie A call-up.
“Almen Abdi as trequartista is an option, as he had been doing well before the injury and has improved in his self-confidence. If we play with one striker, then all the midfielders must be ready to push up and add a few goals to the mix.
“Giampiero Pinzi’s performance against Napoli was a perfect example of that. They have to work hard, but when there is harmony and the work is spread out evenly, then our lads have the chance to be dangerous in attack. It’s something we work on every day in training.”
There could be an important historic moment for Antonio Di Natale, who is currently on 149 Serie A goals.
“If it happens, then remember to underline this number, because it’s not something to be sniffed at,” concluded Guidolin.
Udinese squad: Handanovic, Padelli, Romo; Armero, Basta, Coda, Danilo, Ekstrand, Fanchone, Neuton, Pasquale, Pereyra; Abdi, Asamoah, Battocchio, Fernandes, Pazienza, Pinzi; Di Natale, Torje, Vydra