Wednesday September 13 2017
Atalanta have left-back problem

Atalanta are without Josip Ilicic, Robin Gosens and Leonardo Spinazzola against Everton, confirmed Gian Piero Gasperini.

It kicks off at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio-Emilia, which usually hosts Sassuolo, on Thursday at 18.00 UK time (17.00 GMT).

The Coach pointed out that he is missing injured creative midfielder Ilicic, who picked up a knock in training, and both left-backs Gosens and Spinazzola.

“We have some valid solutions, even if we are missing basically two players in the same role down the left,” said Gasp in his Press conference.

“Hopefully these are two fairly soft issues and we’ll know more about Gosens on Monday, whereas Spinazzola needs another week to 10 days.

“I have the line-up in my mind, though over the last two days we lost Gosens and Ilicic. For tomorrow, although I won’t tell you what it is, the line-up is ready.”

Everton have their own concerns around superstar Wayne Rooney, who returned to the club after years at Manchester United.

“I hope he’s not playing, because he represents an important part of English football. Great opponents are always difficult to face and I’d rather do without!

“The Europa League group phase is six games, so it’s a mini-League and has to be interpreted as such. We’ll be facing opponents we’ve never encountered before, whereas in Serie A you more or less know everyone. We must adapt and see what happens, but certainly not change our general characteristics.

“Atalanta might not be a big name in Europe, but last season we fully deserved fourth place in Serie A. We have enthusiasm and won’t set specific objectives, but we are curious to measure ourselves up against different opposition. We are ready for this competition.”