Gian Piero Gasperini confirms Atalanta have new injury concerns ahead of the Champions League clash with Liverpool, having beaten Crotone 2-1. ‘I don’t want to choose between tournaments.’
Luis Muriel bagged a brace and went off at half-time as part of the squad rotation, though Nwankwo Simy left Crotone in the running to the end.
“It’s not just about the result, as we were consistently attacking, didn’t allow much in defence other than the goal incident, which made it seem more in the balance than it really was,” the coach told Sky Sport Italia.
Hans Hateboer and Cristian Romero went off with muscular injuries today, while Robin Gosens and Marten de Roon are also expected to miss the Champions League showdown with Liverpool.
“We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see, Toloi also had a heavy knock to his knee, so we’ll see who we can recover and who we can’t. We played the game we needed to and there are some regrets we didn’t finish it off earlier, as we wasted several chances, but we were always in control.
“I really liked Muriel’s first half, he scored two good goals, had chances for a hat-trick. Josip Ilicic struggled today, he was not the player I had hoped to see even for just 45 minutes. He was off the pace today, more than in other games.”
Papu Gomez and Duvan Zapata will start against Liverpool, will the third be Ilicic or Ruslan Malinovskyi?
“Leave me something to decide, otherwise you’ll do my job for me! Malinovskyi can cover more than one role, he does well off the bench or in the starting XI. Aleksei Miranchuk is one of those players who just arrived from a completely different league and needs time to adapt, so for the moment is more of an option off the bench.
“Serie A and the Champions League are two very different tournaments and I don’t want to choose between them. We have four points there, it’ll be a big game with Liverpool for our place in the group, whereas in Serie A there’s more time to make up for a few early slip-ups.
“The Champions League atmosphere is extraordinary and again it’s our immense regret that we reached this level and are forced to play behind closed doors. I can only imagine people on the rooftops waiting for Liverpool to come to Bergamo!
“Jurgen Klopp has shown throughout his career that his teams play with pace, quality, rapid turnovers and not just great results, but also a style of football that cannot help but fascinate you.”