Sassuolo Coach Roberto De Zerbi said Parma are “the real surprise outfit of the season” and that makes today’s Reggio-Emilia Derby unpredictable.
It kicks off at 11.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.
Only one point separates the two regional rivals going into the game, even though the Ducali went bankrupt in 2015 and had three consecutive promotions to reach the top flight.
“It is a very difficult fixture, because the table tells us Parma are the real surprise outfit of the season and did extraordinary things to go from Serie C to A,” said De Zerbi in his Press conference.
“Plus the director of sport and the Coach are friends of mine, so I compliment everyone for their work. They brought in talented players like Gervinho, Roberto Inglese, Alberto Grassi, Jonathan Biabiany and Luigi Sepe.
“Parma deserved it when they won this term, but also deserved more in other games that they didn’t win.”
Claud Adjapong is out for several weeks after an injury on international duty with the Italy Under-21 side, while Jens Odgaard and Jeremy Boga are also sidelined.
As for the senior Italy squad, Sassuolo men Stefano Sensi and Domenico Berardi played in the 1-0 friendly victory against the USA this week.
“I had said that Sensi being called up would be a motivational tool for everyone, because we have many players at Sassuolo who can be protagonists at international level and can prove themselves here first.
“Berardi had an extraordinary first half and I thought he deserved a goal. I am very happy with his performances and he is fundamental for us. I think he’s mature enough not to listen to criticism.”
Sassuolo squad for Parma: Satalino, Consigli, Pegolo; Marlon, Lemos, Rogerio, Peluso, Lirola, Magnani, Ferrari, Dell'Orco; Magnanelli, Djuricic, Sensi, Duncan, Bourabia, Locatelli; Matri, Berardi, Boateng, Trotta, Babacar, Di Francesco, Brignola