Saturday February 22 2020
Gasperini: 'Sassuolo like Valencia'

Gian Piero Gasperini warns Sassuolo and Valencia have “a very similar style of football,” while he compares his Atalanta stars to Cristiano Ronaldo and Papu Gomez.

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The first question inevitably was how Atalanta are going to handle getting back to Serie A football just days after their historic 4-1 Champions League Round of 16 victory over Valencia?

“Sassuolo are an important opponent too,” said the coach in his press conference.

“The game with Valencia took up a lot of physical energy, but we must do well to put it out of our minds. Serie A is fundamental for us and we are up against a side that is doing very well.

“We played on Wednesday night, so naturally there was some fatigue for the players, but I am convinced they’ll be much better come Sunday. There could be changes anyway, as some players deserve more time on the field and we need to be wary of Sassuolo.

“Let’s not forget that Sassuolo have a very similar style of football to Valencia, with pacey players in attack. There were a few mistakes against Valencia that could’ve been more costly than they ultimately were, but clearly with only a few days to prepare, you can’t get it all right.”

Gasp made clear the regard he holds for his star strikers, Papu Gomez and Josip Ilicic.

“I have no intention of resting both at the same time. After all, Juventus would struggle too if they missed both Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala, or Lazio with both Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.”

Atalanta are on the verge of qualifying for the Champions League for the second year running.

“Having a six-point advantage, with two rounds to go, is a good gap, but there are 14 rounds to go, so it cannot be called decisive now. We could get close to 70 points, like last season, and that would make it very difficult for the others to catch up.

“We just have to focus on our own points, as if we do that, then nobody can catch us.”

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