Sampdoria coach Claudio Ranieri said Keita Balde and Adrien Silva are ‘improving’ and hope to see the Blucerchiati match ‘the determination’ of Atalanta.
Ranieri’s men face Atalanta after back-to-back wins against Fiorentina and Lazio in Serie A, but the coach expects to face a ‘united’ Orobici and stressed the Blucerchiati must be 'as determined’ as their opponents.
“Tomorrow, I expect a usual, determined and eager Atalanta,” he said at a press conference. “To have one game off, it happens to everyone and it can happen to Atalanta.
“But I saw it in Denmark, the usual team with great determination, attacking and defending together like a real team.
“I expect a team that over the years have become more and more united, not just the starting XI but the other too.
“Some have just arrived and must fully enter into the dynamics of [Gian Piero] Gasperini’s game but their quality means they have two players for every role.”
Sampdoria held Atalanta to a goalless draw in Liguria last term but lost 2-0 at the Gewiss in the return leg.
“Last year we played two excellent games. Both at home, where we did well to close the spaces for them and were quick on the counter,” he said.
“After the lockdown we went to play them and lost in the last 15 minutes. I would like to review those two games where I see my team as determined as Atalanta.”
Ranieri added that the new arrivals are close to being in top shape, but admitted Keita and Silva ‘need more time’.
“The team are doing well,” he added. “Of course, the new players need a little more time to get into physical condition.
“Keita and Silva haven’t played since March. They are in improving condition, even if they aren’t at 100 per cent.”