Edy Reja said Serie A leaders Fiorentina are “like a mountain to climb” for his on-form Atalanta.
It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“It will be like climbing a mountain, maybe the Dolomites in the Giro d’Italia, considering the value of our opponents and the form they are on at the moment,” said Coach Reja in a Press conference.
“We shouldn’t be surprised the Viola are doing so well, as over the summer they beat Barcelona and Chelsea in friendlies.
“They’re not top of Serie A for no reason, you know. I have to compliment the Della Valle patrons, because they never pick the wrong men for the job.
“In truth, nobody thought Fiorentina could do so well at this level and so quickly under Paulo Sousa. I hope the Viola run into some problems against us, because – touch wood – we too are doing well.
“We must try to make more of our opportunities, as we create so much and score very little. We are still seeking our best form.
“Now with great humility we’ll continue working and improving. It was a fairly relaxed start to the fixture list, so now we face sides of genuine quality.”
Mauricio Pinilla has joined the injury list with a muscular problem, while Andrea Masiello has recovered from a bruised knee.
Atalanta squad for Fiorentina: Bassi, Bellini, Carmona, Cherubin, Cigarini, Conti, D’Alessandro, De Roon, Denis, Dramè, Gomez, Grassi, Kurtic, Masiello, Migliaccio, Monachello, Moralez, Paletta, Radunovic, Raimondi, Sportiello, Stendardo, Toloi
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://www.premiersports.com/subscribenow