Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini said the back-to-back games against Liverpool ‘are fundamental’ for the Orobici’s hopes in the Champions League.
La Dea have picked up four points from two games in the Champions League and the coach stressed it will be vital to pick up points against the Premier League champions.
“These next matches will be fundamental,” he said at a press conference. “We face the strongest team in the group.
“It will be important for us to score points and gain an advantage over Ajax, but this is theory. All matches must be played, every game is important.”
Gasperini said Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool are ‘a point of reference’, as the Orobici face the winners of Champions League 2018-19 and the champions of England from last season.
“Klopp is a point of reference for all coaches, he’s a motive of prestige to play against them,” Gasperini said at a press conference.
“The regret remains the lack of spectators, even in the away match. To hear their anthem would have been a great feeling.
“This is at the base of the most attacking teams, like us and them. The base always starts from knowing how to win back the ball and then propose yourself, I think this is the absence.”
Gasperini revealed Robin Gosens and Marten de Roon are still injured, but believes he can recover most of the uncertain players before the match.
“The situation has not changed, De Roon and Gosens remain out. We have the possibility of recovering all of them a bit, there are no particular injuries.
“We will make the last assessments tomorrow. [Hans] Hateboer, [Jose Luis] Palomino and [Cristian] Romero have a chance to recover.”
Klopp praised Atalanta in his press conference earlier today and Gasperini admitted the German’s words are appreciated.
“Klopp’s compliments make us happy. We arrive for tomorrow’s game with the intention of being able to measure ourselves against the best in the world and in Europe, we will see if we are on par with these teams.
“For us, it’s a test of prestige, that’s the spirit. I will be able to establish the line-up tomorrow, the difficulty will only be due to the immediacy of the game, but there are no heavy injuries.”
Gasperini has no intentions of changing Atalanta’s approach ahead of the big game.
“We have come to play this competition after a long journey. It seems unlikely to distort our way of playing. I remove it from any kind of thought.”