Between Serie A and Coppa Italia, Fiorentina haven't won in three matches, finding themselves in a situation where even one mistake could prove fatal. To keep pace with the top, the viola must claim all three points on Saturday, but it's going to be a tough job. Atalanta are one of the most solid and best organized of the so-called "small" teams, demonstrating their strength last week with a 3-0 win over Napoli, Fiorentina's biggest rival for third place.
With the numerous selection problems Vincenzo Montella is facing, it's hard to guess who might be in the starting eleven. And will he use the 3-5-2 that did not work against Cagliari, the 4-3-2-1 that didn't work against Udinese in the Coppa midweek, or go back to his usual 4-3-3.
Montella is missing a few players crucial to his 4-3-3, but with six goals conceded in the last three games, he's likely to use a three men defense - particularly since Atalanta can be very dangerous on the counter, and Fiorentina don't want to risk going behind. Yet three points requires that the viola must attack, and while the 3-5-2 formation perhaps doesn't suit the talents of Juan Cuadrado the most, having him speeding down the flanks does sound scary for any defense.
Atalanta will depend on their good old 4-4-1-1 formation. The methods used by Stefano Colantuono are predicatble, especially away from home - his team will sit patiently, wait for opportunities to break quickly and use space that the viola will, without any doubt, leave. Atalanta fields just one traditional striker in German Denis, but Maxi Moralez is always there to support him, while Giacomo Bonaventura likes to leave the left wing and play centrally, almost as a second striker.
Fiorentina injuries and suspensions:
Atalanta injuries and suspensions:
Projected line ups:
Atalanta (4-4-1-1): Andrea Consigli; Yohan Benalouane, Guglielmo Stendardo, Stefano Lucchini, Cristiano Del Grosso; Giacomo Bonaventura, Carlos Carmona, Luca Cigarini, Cristian Raimondi; Maxi Moralez; German Denis
Match Date/Time: Saturday, 6 p.m. local, 12 noon ET
Venue: Stadio Artemio Franchi, Florence
TV: RAI Internazionale, beIN Sports Play, beIN Sports (USA), Premium Calcio, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy)