UEFA Champions League


Atalanta's coach Gian Piero Gasperini spoke in his pre-match press conference ahead of today's Champions League match against Shakhtar Donetsk.

It’s a very important game, especially for this first part of the season. Clearly, we arrive here with great confidence, because after such a difficult start with three opening defeats, the fact we are still in with a chance of qualifying for the Round of 16 is a huge opportunity. We can’t turn that chance down.

Duvan Zapata is still out of action, while Rafael Toloi is suspended and Josip Ilicic unavailable: “These things happen, but the team has always done well even in the absence of some big players. We’ve grown considerably from the first leg and want to show how much we’ve developed.”

Atalanta can only qualify for the Champions League Round of 16 if they beat Shakhtar Donetsk: “I think both of us are only going for the victory. Clearly, Shakhtar are in a better situation than we are in this group. Since the last time we played them, Atalanta have put in some very strong performances. I also feel the 2-1 defeat to Shakhtar was excessive, because we had played well and were only caught out on the counter at the end. We hope to repay them for that result on their own turf.

(Photo Getty Images)