Atalanta boss Stefano Colantuono is confident his troops will be fully motivated to make a bright start to the season.
The Bergamo boys have begun the last two campaigns with a points’ penalty because of misdemeanours, but there will be no deficit this time around.
“I am sure that we will start the season with the same spirit as always, it would be a grave error on our part if that was not to happen,” the tactician noted.
“We are working with the same desire as the last two years and we are very happy about that.
“We want to begin the campaign strongly because not dropping points early in the season is our primary objective.
“If you fail to pick up points at the start then it becomes more difficult as the weeks pass.”
Atalanta were amongst a number of clubs tipped to be relegated by football betting experts over the last two campaigns given their handicap. They had a six-point penalty to deal with in 2011-12 and a one-point deduction last term, but they still managed to stay up.
“We need to remain focused and not think that it will be easier this season as we have no points penalty,” added defender Stefano Lucchini.
“Serie A is complicated and of a high level. We have to always keep our feet on the ground. We will start from a solid base. The championship will be difficult, but we have a compact squad.”
Atalanta should also be boosted by the goals of German Denis, a potential Serie A top scorer for those who bet on football, after it was confirmed that he’d remain with the Bergamo boys.
“If Napoli are after an attacker then they need to go and look elsewhere,” stated director general Pierpaolo Marino this week after links with the Azzurri. “Denis is ours and we’re keeping a tight grip on him.”
Colantuono used a 4-4-1-1 system regularly last term, but he admits that he may have to make changes this time around.
“I’ll base my system of play on the squad that I have available,” the Coach added. “It is the players who will basically decide it. We don’t have that many wide players this year, so I’ll probably try something different.
“The possible arrival of new players? I’ve spoken with the club about the transfer market and they know what ideas I have. We’ll just have to see what happens.”
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.