Gian Piero Gasperini hints at a complete tactical revamp in the absence of Duvan Zapata, as Atalanta visit Inter in a top four showdown.
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“It is a fascinating period of the campaign, with many teams pushed together in our area of the table,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“This will be a prestigious fixture, we are coming off a good period of form, facing a strong team in a stadium that will be packed out with passionate fans.
“It also represents a test of our maturity. If we emerge from this type of match with a good performance, regardless of the result, we’ll gain from it in future and it’d be a significant show of strength.”
Atalanta already provided that by going 4-0 up against Bologna within 15 minutes on Thursday evening, but Duvan Zapata was booked and the 20-goal striker is suspended.
There have been suggestions of Musa Barrow taking his place, or even Josip Ilicic as a False 9 supported by Papu Gomez and Mario Pasalic.
“The only certainty I can give you is that without Zapata, we’ll still start with 11 players,” smiled Gasp.
“I won’t tell you the line-up, but we do have some alternative solutions. We also found them for Rafael Toloi in defence, as nobody seems to have noticed he’s been out for six weeks.
“Duvan might be a more obvious miss, as we don’t have another centre-forward with his characteristics. Barrow is a different kind of striker. We might use a different tactical approach to give us satisfying results anyway.”
Gasperini had a brief spell on the Inter bench, but has never won at San Siro as an opponent, while Atalanta’s last victory here was in March 2014.
“We’ll see if we can end this negative tradition too. Inter have always been in the Champions League spots under Luciano Spalletti, while they have rediscovered their unity, confidence and results, but then I never had any doubts that would happen.”
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