Sunday August 19 2018
Gasperini distracted by Europe

Atalanta begin their Serie A campaign against Frosinone tomorrow, but Gian Piero Gasperini has one eye on the Europa League.

It kicks off on Monday at 19.30 UK time (18.30 GMT), click here for a match preview.

Although this is their first top flight encounter of the campaign, the Orobici have already eliminated Sarajevo and Hapoel Haifa from the Europa League and are preparing to face Kobenhavn in the play-offs.

“The opening game always has hidden dangers, but we want to start on the right foot,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“Humility is fundamental and we’ll be happy to win 1-0. The overall level of quality in Serie A has increased this year and that means we must hope another six or seven teams slip up if we are to reach Europe again.

“The Europa League play-off is crucial, because if we qualify it’ll change our whole approach to planning the season.”

Josip Ilicic is still out of action with a mystery lymph node infection which saw him hospitalised recently, while transfer deadline signing Emiliano Rigoni will have to wait.

“Ilicic is a big loss and we hope he can be back soon. We haven’t even seen Rigoni yet, as he is in Russia and should arrive on Tuesday.

“I’ll choose tomorrow between Musa Barrow and Duvan Zapata for the attack, with Papu Gomez.”

Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports.