Italy captain Sergio Parisse has rejected claims that his side will start as favourites in Saturday's RBS 6 Nations clash against Scotland at Murrayfield.
Scotland forward Johnnie Beattie earlier claimed Scotland were "absolutely" the underdogs for the Edinburgh encounter.
Both sides had contrasting starts to their campaigns last weekend with Scotland comprehensively beaten 38-18 against England and the Italians stunning France with a 23-18 victory in Rome.
Italy have won four of the last six meetings between the teams in the competition and Scotland are odds-on favourites for a second successive wooden spoon.
But Parisse dismissed the pre-match analysis of his opposing number eight.
The Stade Francais forward said: "I do not agree with Johnnie Beattie. We need to keep on improving, we have only won one important game."
The Argentinian-born player added: "Every time we play here in Scotland it is very difficult, with all of the crowd pushing the home side on.
"So Italy are coming here focused and humble because Scotland are approaching the game as the favourites and the home team."
Italy XV: Masi, Venditti, Benvenuti, Canale, McLean, Orquera, Botes, Lo Cicero Ghiraldini, Castrogiovanni, Geldenhuys, Minto, Zanni, Favaro, Parisse (capt).
Replacements: Giazzon, De Marchi, Cittadini, Pavanello, Derbyshire, Gori, Burton, Garcia.
Live RBS 6 Nations coverage on RTÉ Two from 2pm on Saturday 9 February and 2.15pm on Sunday 10 February (Ireland v England). Live streaming Ireland only.
Live radio coverage of Ireland v England on Sunday Sport on RTÉ Radio 1 from 2pm. Live streaming available worldwide.