The Italians have got to win at least one game a year for the sake of the credibility of the championship and when they looked at the fixtures this year they will have seen Scotland as that chance.
And for Scotland, of course, this is their opportunity to get off the mark.
It is very important for the team and the fans that they perform well. They have got to perform to the same standard and level that they reached against England because that performance set a benchmark.
The defeat to England was a big improvement on what we saw in Cardiff against Wales. There was a lot of passion and lots of intense defence and at times they were very creative with the ball.
But they must make that game a base on which to build from and not let their good work go to waste.
Matt Williams has told everyone to be patient but patience can only last so long - especially if you lose to teams like Italy who people will feel you should be beating.
Incidentally, I can't understand the fuss Sir Clive Woodward has made over the pre-match entertainment at Murrayfield. I was never a fan of a big build-up and just wanted to get on with playing. But it was the same for both teams and he should be concentrating on his own team and I don't think his complaints reflect well on him.
On Saturday I think Italy will provide Scotland with a very tough test up front. They have two strong props and a very exciting back row. In my opinion the number 8 Sergio Parisse and the flanker Andrea De Rossi are two of the very best players in the championship.
So in order to be successful Scotland are really going to have to meet fire with fire.
But they ought to have an edge in the backs - and particularly the half-backs.
I am very impressed with Chris Cuister who is really coming on with every game. And while we haven't seen the best of Chris Paterson yet, hopefully he will get a bit more space in this game to show what he can do. I expect both of them to get the better of their opposite number and be able to shape the game.
But if Scotland are to be successful the hard work will have to be done early on by the forwards.