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Parma FC coach Pietro Carmignani has been dealt a serious blow ahead of his side's UEFA Cup Round of 16 second-leg encounter with Sevilla FC, losing Stefano Bettarini and Marco Marchionni to injury.
Both Bettarini and Marchionni left the field inside the first 20 minutes of Sunday's 1-0 Serie A defeat at the hands of Atalanta BC, and neither player has any chance of featuring in Thursday's tie, the first leg of which ended goalless. Right-winger Marchionni has undergone knee surgery in Rome after an examination of his right leg while left-back Bettarini will have a second scan on his thigh strain at the end of the week.
Defender Paolo Cannavaro will also miss the game due to suspension although striker Alberto Gilardino could return to the bench. Despite the injuries, however, Carmignani is still considering resting goalkeeper Sébastien Frey. "We don't have a big squad so obviously we always have to keep an eye on our domestic league," he said. "We need to share our energy between the two competitions. We must play with the pride and fighting spirit that we've shown so far in this competition, and although we will field several young and inexperienced players, I'm sure we can do it again."
Sevilla, with only one away win since January, may also have to look to youth and could pin their hopes for progress on Kepa Blanco, the 21-year-old reserve striker who came off the bench to replace Antoñito Ramiro in Sunday's 1-0 Primera División defeat against Real Zaragoza. Another precocious striker, Jesús Navas, has shaken off a niggle, while Jesuli is likely to be available despite limping out of practice on Tuesday.
Left-back David Castedo shook off a groin strain to feature in the defeat, which saw Sevilla drop to sixth in the standings, but Javi Navarro is suspended against Parma after picking up his third yellow card of the competition in the first leg.
Navarro's coach, Joaquín Caparrós, himself served a touchline ban in last week's first leg, and hopes luck will be on his side in Italy. "
I felt we were unlucky not to score in the first leg but bad fortune has to turn good at some point," he said. "It is fundamental that we play this game with a cool head, intelligently and not make any rash decisions on the pitch."
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