The Atalanta boss has sounded a warning to Everton
By talkSPORT – @talkSPORT
Wednesday, September 13, 2017
Gian Piero Gasperini has warned Everton and Atalanta’s other opponents that the Bergamo club are returning to European football full of confidence.
La Dea begin what is their first continental campaign since 1990-91 when they face Everton on Thursday in their Europa League Group E opener.
They were the surprise package in Italy last term, finishing fourth in Serie A, and Atalanta boss Gasperini is looking forward to the clash with the Toffees.
He said: “We are confident. We might not bring a name but we had an excellent season last year and we carry a lot of enthusiasm.”
Group E also features France’s Lyon and Apollon Limassol of Cyprus, and Gasperini added: “Everton are strong in many aspects and we know it is a tough group.
“But I think the team is ready to play in this group.”
Thursday’s game is taking place at the Mapei Stadium in Reggio Emilia rather than at Atalanta’s Stadio Atleti Azzurri d’Italia home, which is to be redeveloped to make it fit for European competition.
Atalanta captain Alejandro Gomez admits playing ‘home’ games away from the usual surroundings will have “quite a lot of impact” for Gasperini’s men, but has also stressed that the team will still be boosted by their “special, unique” supporters.
He said: “It will have quite a lot of impact because we know how to play when we play at home, and are strong.
“But we can use the enthusiasm of our fans. Many will come from Bergamo and they are very special, unique fans.
“Everton are a team with a lot of tradition and history but we feel we can play against anyone.”
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