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Atalanta coach Gasperini: We face Valencia with great respect and humility

Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini is excited ahead of tonight's Champions League clash with Valencia.

La Dea host the first-leg of this round of 16 clash.

Gasperini declared: “We must have a great deal of respect for Valencia, but also the right humility, because people talk about their absences, but they'll still field 11 players and have an excellent curriculum, only recently winning away to Ajax and Chelsea, finishing top of their group.

“They have a lot of quality and a few weaknesses. I won't celebrate their injuries, as I want to play the best so we can say we beat the best, the same if we lose. Missing two centre-backs can be a problem for them, while Rodrigo is a very dangerous striker, but I'm sure they have the squad to compete in the Champions League.

“Idle chatter is easy, but we'll have to deal with the reality we find on the pitch and recognise what we need to do in order to win this type of match.

“I don't know what will happen, but I'd be very happy to finish the first leg with an advantage so we can get two out of three results in the second leg.

“It must be the same Atalanta as always, realising that just being here is already a success, so we have clear heads and can give it our all.

“We've played many important games in recent years, from the Europa League to the Champions League decider at Shakhtar Donetsk. We're not entirely unaccustomed to these situations now.

“This is a quality team, the results speak for themselves and we understand the faith in us based on recent results, but I can assure you we need something truly remarkable to get through this round.

“We have the opportunity to play a Champions League Round of 16, we can't lose sleep over that. It must be taken with great respect for the opposition and I don't want anyone talking about the quarter-finals."

Carlos Volcano
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Carlos Volcano

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