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Atalanta coach Gasperini ready for Man Utd test: We've learned from past 2 seasons

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini expects a tough challenge at Champions League opponents Manchester United on Wednesday.

La Dea have faced Manchester City and Liverpool over their past two Champions League campaigns.

“We will learn something as it happened with Manchester City and Liverpool. Premier League clubs are elite level. It's a difficult game, but it offers an opportunity to improve," Gasperini said.

“It was a hard lesson against Manchester City two years ago," the coach said, recalling La Dea's 5-1 defeat at the Etihad Stadium in 2019.

“The level is very high. However, the next two games against United won't be decisive for the qualification."

Atalanta have Rafael Toloi, Matteo Pessina, Berat Djimsiti, Robin Gosens and Hans Hateboer all missing for the game.

“The good thing is that I won't choose the wrong XI, it will be easier not to make mistakes in the starting line-ups or with substitutions, it's the only advantage I see," he said.

“Clearly, we are missing important players, we'll need to adapt to it. However, I don't think Atalanta should change their identity, we've never done that. That's how we managed to get to these stages."

Cristiano Ronaldo will meet Atalanta for the first time since leaving Juventus last summer.

“He is an extraordinary player, his numbers speak from themselves," Gasperini said.

“He keeps scoring and even if Manchester United have slipped up in the Premier League lately, their value is really high.

“We know it will be a difficult game, but it's normal when you play at this level. Manchester United will react after their defeat against Leicester City, but this is a new competition.

“I watched the game against Leicester, and you must take the opponents into account. We play against a top team and I don't think they are in crisis."

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