Saturday February 20 2021
Gasperini 'can't underestimate' Napoli

Gian Piero Gasperini feels Atalanta achievements are underestimated now, but he’s glad Napoli are ‘too important to underestimate’ ahead of Real Madrid.

It kicks off on Sunday at 17.00 GMT, click here for a match preview.

“It’s better that we face Napoli before Real Madrid, because that way we can’t afford to think too much about the Champions League, because this Serie A game is too important to underestimate,” said the coach in his press conference.

“It has been a long time since we’ve had a full week to work in training and we really needed that. Now we’ve got four big games in a row.

“Hans Hateboer is out, the only other concern is Joakim Maehle, who has a knock to the leg and might not be ready for tomorrow.”

Atalanta beat Napoli 3-1 in the Coppa Italia semi-final only last week, booking their spot against Juventus for the trophy.

“I expect to see a good Napoli, as this is a strong team with a lot of quality. The fact we faced them twice very recently gives us something extra, they were good performances, but tomorrow we start from scratch.

“It’s very tight in the Serie A standings and I don’t think there will be one decisive game, but rather several of them.”

The focus of the press conference inevitably swerved towards the Champions League and an historic clash with Real Madrid, who are decimated by injuries.

“Our concentration and minds are solely on Serie A right now. We’ve also secured our place in the Coppa Italia Final, which was an objective we targeted from the start.

“I keep hearing that people expect more from Atalanta, but we’ve done better than previous campaigns. I am satisfied with the way things are going, and our results have been similar, it’s probably just that they’re no longer making headlines.”