Gasperini: 'Extra Coppa motivation'

Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini said the prospect of facing Juventus in the Coppa Italia quarter-final is just “more motivation” against Cagliari.

The Round of 16 tie kicks off on Monday at 17.30 GMT.

“It’s a match where both will try their best to reach the next round, especially as they’ll have the opportunity to take on Juventus and that is more motivation,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“The Coppa Italia is still very uncertain at this stage and anything can happen. A difficult test awaits us, as Cagliari are a very good team, even if they are a little behind in the Serie A standings compared to their potential.

“This is a one-off game and it is all to be decided here, so we go in with confidence.”

The Sardinians can count on Nicolò Barella, the midfielder attracting €45m offers from Chelsea, Napoli and Inter.

“He is undoubtedly doing very well. It’s difficult to give an evaluation, but he is certainly one of the best emerging players in Italy.”

Atalanta started the campaign sluggishly and crashed out of the Europa League play-offs, but ended up the top Serie A scorers at the midway stage.

“It was not predictable that Atalanta would score more goals than Juventus and Napoli. It means we have certainly done well, especially as we concentrated them all after the opening five or six rounds where we struggled to find the net.

“I’d like to qualify for Europe by winning the Coppa Italia, as that would mean silverware, but perhaps via the top six in Serie A is more accessible.”

Atalanta squad for Cagliari: Carnesecchi, Gollini, Rossi; Castagne, Delprato, Djimsiti, Mancini, Okoli, Palomino, Reca, Toloi; Colpani, Freuler, Hateboer, Pasalic, Pessina, Kulusevski; Barrow, Gomez, Ilicic, Tumminello, Duvan Zapata

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