Palermo prepares for trip to Pisa, Corini back in midfield at 3

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Restarting is the categorical imperative, changing is the means to achieve the goal: Palermo knows that in Pisa they are playing their last cards for a climb up the standings, trying to get closer to direct promotion while at the same time slowing down the ambitions of the highly motivated Sampdoria, currently seventh. To find results and form again, Corini will try to put something different on the field compared to recent weeks: no more 4-2-3-1, which without Ranocchia has revealed all its weaknesses, back to the 4-3-3 of the early season.

Switching to a three-man defense was also an option, but it would have brought about a drastic change in the previous schemes eight rounds from the end of the championship: a too risky solution and also not supported by any experiments, given the limited number of men in defense in the friendly against Lommel. The 3-5-2 had been used by the coach in 2022/23 from the 15th to the last match, but especially after the winter transfer market, it had yielded disappointing results and highlighted adaptation difficulties for several players (especially newcomers Verre and Tutino); with the switch to 4-3-3 in the summer, things seemed to be going very well after the first few matches, but between black-outs and injuries, the toy gradually broke.

Now Corini feels he has the means and above all the men to put it back together: in defense, Diakité has injected new life into the right flank, but the main novelty is Lucioni’s return after an absence of three and a half months (missing thirteen matches). The leg injury is completely healed, the only doubt concerns his endurance in the full 90 minutes: if the coach deems it adequate, number 5 will regain his place in the center of defense, otherwise it will be up to Nedelcearu again (who at the moment also appears disadvantaged due to his commitments with the National team); completing the defense are Ceccaroni and Lund, the latter not used by the US team.

In midfield, despite the change in formation, Gomes and Segre remain untouchable. The former will return to control the midfield with the switch to 4-3-3, the latter will play on his left with the freedom to push forward in attack; five of the ex-Torino player’s seven goals this season have come from that position (including the decisive one in the 3-2 first leg against Pisa, in the photo), while with the 4-2-3-1, the struggle increased, especially in the last matches due to increased fatigue and inefficient support in defensive transition from the attacking wingers. Segre hasn’t scored since February 2, in the 3-0 win over Bari: the hope is that with the return to the old formation, his scoring abilities will reignite. The third element of the midfield should be Coulibaly, who has appeared much more comfortable with this formation compared to the two-man midfield: his ability to win back possession and restart plays makes him more suitable for the 4-3-3 than a too offensive profile like Henderson or a too static one like Stulac.

Regarding the attack: Brunori in the center and Di Francesco on the left are confirmed, but there are more doubts about the right side. Di Mariano is not in top condition and has managed his workload in training sessions throughout the week, but his 2024 season has been overall positive and Corini’s trust in him is unconditional: the attacking trident is not the preferred formation for number 10, who will rely mainly on unpredictability and sudden accelerations to spark. Vasic is eager to play behind him, whom Corini now considers a full-fledged attacking winger, while doubts about Insigne’s call-up will only be resolved today: at least for now, Traorè is unlikely to be an option, as he provides less balance and synergy with the other units but can still be a formidable weapon in play.

Il Palermo prepara la trasferta di Pisa, Corini torna al centrocampo a 3

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