Pioli: ‘Fiorentina and Atalanta are similar’

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Stefano Pioli shrugs off suggestions Atalanta are ‘the new Fiorentina’ ahead of their Coppa Italia semi-final on Wednesday evening.

The first leg kicks off in Florence at 20.00 GMT tomorrow, with Lazio-Milan tonight.

“It hasn’t happened for years that none of the top three Serie A sides are in the Coppa Italia semi-final,” noted the Coach in his Press conference.

“We’ve already fought it out with Atalanta in the league this season and want to make the most of home advantage going into the second leg in Bergamo.”

While Atalanta crushed holders Juventus 3-0, the Viola qualified by humiliating Roma 7-1.

“We are quite similar teams, in that we both rely on a high tempo, but in turn the key moments of the tie might be what we do when we’re not going at 1,000km/h.

“Atalanta are an intense outfit who always take the game to their opponents. It’s no coincidence they are the most prolific side in Serie A with players like Papu Gomez, Josip Ilicic and Cristian Zapata.

“We’ve got to respect them, but we too have a lot of quality and pace, so they’ll be just as wary of us. If it’s going to be so finely balanced, the details could make all the difference.

“Fiorentina must play with our own philosophy, defending and attacking all together, and not hastily throwing everything forward. At the same time, we’re not a team capable of making calculations over 180 minutes.”

It was put to Pioli that Atalanta have taken the spot that Fiorentina had in recent years with top six finishes.

“Fiorentina played in the Champions League a few years ago and have always competed for a place in Europe, which is also our objective now. Atalanta are an impressive outfit, but we are Fiorentina and we must aim high.”

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