Gian Piero Gasperini took his time to answer questions about Josip Ilicic and the coming Champions League quarter finals clash with PSG after Atalanta’s 2-1 Serie A win over Parma on Tuesday.
Atalanta boss Gian Piero Gasperini confirmed that Josip Ilicic is unlikely to be ready to face Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League quarter final battle in Lisbon.
Ilicic has starred for the free scoring Atalanta this term, scoring 15 Serie A goals and five more in the Champions League.
However, there are question marks as to whether Ilicic would be fit in time for the August 12 epic showdown with PSG in Portugal next month, having not played for Atalanta since their 2-2 draw with Juventus on July 11.
Speaking to the media after Tuesday’s 2-1 win over Parma, Gasperini told the press: “It’s quite sad that in the most important moments of the season, we have to do without our best players.
“We’ve had months without Duvan [Zapata], now it’s Ilicic who is going to miss out. And as time passes, it’s hard to prepare him for the intensity of the Champions League, and that is if he eventually recovers in time. It will be very difficult.
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“The boys are doing well to adapt and try to find a different balance without him, because we have players that offer many things, like Pasalic, Gomez and Malinovskyi.
“Without Duvan Zapata in the past, we had to make changes to our style and find a different way of unnerving the opposition. Now, we have to try to make up for this issue with other qualities.
“Ilicic is so important to us, he made it so simple for us this season up until March, he was lethal in both the Serie A and Europe,” he continued.
“It could be likened to Juventus without Dybala or Lazio playing without Ciro [Immobile], or even Inter without Romelu [Lukaku].”
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