Coppa Italia might not be (anyone's) priority at the moment, but it is a good opportunity for Fiorentina to prolong its winning series and further improve morale within a team, before a big Serie A game this weekend against Roma. Of course, no one would object doing a repeat of last season and getting into Coppa Italia final, with hope to winning a trophy. But beating Atalanta won't be a simple task. La dea has already proven this season that they know how to deal with big teams. In fact, they dealt with one of those just this last Serie A round, beating Milan away at San Siro. So the last thing Vincenzo Montella and his players should do is think it's going to be easy.
This is Fiorentina's debut in this season's Coppa Italia, while Atalanta had to beat Fiorentina's historic rivals Pisa back in August, and Avellino three weeks ago.
The nerazzurri are, as usual, battling against relegation in Serie A. After a slow start, in which they suffered a home defeat to Fiorentina in round three, they are now in a positive series. They don't win quite that often, but they don't lose either -- they have only two defeats in almost three months.
Atalanta coach, Stefano Colantuono, will likely rest couple of first team regulars. German Denis, for one, certainly won't be in the team, as he wasn't even called up. Same goes for the January signing, Mauricio Pinilla. Which is probably good news, as both of them love playing (and scoring) against the viola. Still, they have a great attacking options for a small team -- Rolando Bianchi and Alejandro Gomez. We are likely to see a couple of former Fiorentina players on the pitch for la dea, in Giulio Migliaccio and Vlada Avramov.
Montella will look to rest two or three regulars as well. That especially goes for Mati Fernandez, who has been playing non stop for months, and Gonzalo Rodriguez. Stefan Savic is certain to play, as he is suspended and cannot play in Serie A matches, but is eligible for Coppa. Match winner against Chievo, Khouma El Babacar, probably still isn't completely fit, and besides, Montella will want to give more chances to Mario Gomez to, hopefully finally find his long forgotten goalscoring form.
The winner of this match will play against Roma in the quarter finals, after the giallorossi defeated Empoli thanks to a dubious extra time penalty.
FIORENTINA (3-5-2): Tatarusanu; Micah Richards, Savic, Basanta; Joaquin, Kurtic, Pizarro, Borja Valero, Vargas; Cuadrado, Gomez
Atalanta (4-4-2): Avramov; Bellini, Stendardo, Biava, Dramé; Molina, Migliaccio, Baselli, D'Alessandro; Gomez; Bianchi