Atalanta not favourites for Coppa Italia final against Juventus, insists Gasperini

Atalanta not favourites for Coppa Italia final against Juventus, insists Gasperini

Atalanta do not consider themselves favourites for Wednesday’s Coppa Italia final against Juventus despite their strong form, says coach Gian Piero Gasperini.

Atalanta have enjoyed a fantastic season, reaching the Europa League final – where they will face unbeaten Bundesliga champions Bayer Leverkusen on May 22 – and the Coppa Italia showpiece. 

La Dea are also in the driving seat to secure Italy’s fifth Champions League place for next season, after Sunday’s 2-1 home win over Roma took them three points clear of the Giallorossi with a game in hand.

On Wednesday, an out-of-form Juve side await Atalanta at the Stadio Olimpico, as Gasperini seeks his first trophy with the club he joined back in 2016.

“I think it’s a bit much to suggest we’d be favourites against Juve. We are in good form, but it’s difficult to tell playing every three days,” Gasperini told DAZN on Sunday.

“Naturally, we go into this Coppa Italia final with great enthusiasm.”

Atalanta’s Milan loanee Charles De Ketelaere produced another fine performance against Roma, scoring twice inside 20 minutes.

With 13 goals and nine assists, he is one of three Atalanta players to record 22 goal involvements in all competitions this season, alongside Gianluca Scamacca (17 goals, five assists) and Teun Koopmeiners (15 goals, seven assists). 

Manchester City and Leverkusen (four apiece) are the only teams in Europe’s top five leagues with more players with at least 22 direct goal involvements. 

“Everyone knew he could play, or Milan would not have made an investment like that. He deserves the credit, he was going all over the place, right, left and centre tonight,” Gasperini said of De Ketelaere.

Lorenzo Pellegrini reduced the deficit for the visitors with a penalty after 66 minutes, but overall Atalanta were dominant.

While Gasperini was happy with the win, he did not enjoy the wastefulness of his side.

“I don’t know if we’ve learned a lesson, other than we had so many scoring opportunities and did not aim properly, otherwise we would have killed it off a lot earlier,” he said.

“Failing to win this match really would have caused us a lot of problems.”

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