Gian Piero Gasperini suffered not one blow, but two blows in the 3-2 defeat against Fiorentina, as Gianluca Scamacca endured a thigh injury which will now see him miss about a month. Atalanta face Raków Częstochowa in their UEFA Europa League opener after a year’s absence from Europe but will have to make do without their star striker.

Gasperini gave his thoughts ahead of the clash against Raków in his pre-match press conference (via Sky Italia).

“Unfortunately it happened on Sunday, and we didn’t realize it initially. The boy was affected in his performance by this injury. It’s a shame, but these are things that unfortunately happen in football. Playing matches with this intensity and this continuity causes injuries to increase. We have the players, I don’t have to invent something new but just make the right choices. The match must be seen over 90 minutes. There are also five substitutions. We’ll need a complete performance under all aspects.”

La Dea make a return to Europe after finishing fifth in Serie A last season, having missed 2022/23 following their eighth position the year before.

“We always had a very strong dressing room. At the start of the championship, there were moments of decline, almost of resignation, but they didn’t last long if I look at the whole picture. In Europe, every game is important, there are not 38 contests like in the championship. There is a higher attention in general, and the pace is also faster.”

Finally, Gasperini also took stock of Ivan Provedel’s historic header, which sealed a point for Lazio against Atletico Madrid.

“It’s the beauty of football, a crazy emotion and I imagine the joy of the whole environment and of Provedel who scored a wonderful goal. He scored a goal like an attacker and it was really good.”

Atalanta are paired with Sporting CP, Sturm Graz, and Raków in Group D, in what is the club’s only second-ever UEL group stage campaign. They remained unbeaten in their group in 2017/18, winning all three home games.

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