Atalanta striker Duvan Zapata has asserted the Bergamo outfit can ‘hurt’ Liverpool in their Champions League face-off on Tuesday, reports Football Italia.
Last season Gian Piero Gasperini’s side finished third in Serie A and were cruelly knocked out of the Champions League quarter-finals via two late goals from eventual runners-up Paris Saint-Germain.
Both sides are unbeaten so far in Group D, with Liverpool topping the group after two wins, while Atalanta thrashed Midtjylland 4-0 and drew 2-2 with Ajax.
And hotshot Colombian forward Zapata – who scored three times in those two games – believes they can cause Liverpool real problems if they can impose their game on the Reds.
Duvan Zapata: It will not be easy
Zapata said: “I know they have some players out, but it doesn’t mean anything. They are strong: any player who plays for them will have experience. It will be a very difficult match.
“They know how we play up front, we have to be determined throughout the game. We have to think about both phases, to win this match we need to match their intensity.
“It will not be an easy match. Last season they won the Premier League, two years ago the Champions League. They are a strong team at an international level.
“It will not be easy for their defence either, we can hurt them if we are able to play our game.”
Atalanta attack could breach Liverpool defence
Atalanta, who impressed with a swashbuckling and free-flowing style last campaign, boast several attacking talents, including captain ‘Papu’ Gomez, Josip Ilicic, Luis Muriel and Zapata.
Meanwhile, Liverpool are currently without talisman Virgil van Dijk and fellow defenders Joel Matip and Kostas Tsimikas through injury.
Potentially relying on youngsters Nathaniel Phillips and Rhys Williams to fill in at centre-half could be a tough ask against Atalanta’s firepower and quality.
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