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Atalanta to avoid Man City slaughter

Gian Piero Gasperini warned that psychology will be key as Italian newcomers Atalanta look to avoid another huge defeat at the hands of Champions League rivals Manchester City in Milan today.

The Premier League champions can seal their ticket to the knockout rounds with a win over Atalanta, who have lost all three Group C games in their first ever foray into the elite European competition.

Man City are top of their group with maximum nine points and 10 goals scored, with the Bergamo side bottom after conceding 11 goals and scoring just two.

Five of those came last time out, when an 11-minute Raheem Sterling hat-trick helped City to a 5-1 win in Manchester.

“The psychological aspect will be fundamental. It’s a tight turnaround, but we’ll prepare as best we can,” said Gasperini.

Atalanta hit back in Serie A days later with a 7-1 demolition of lowly Udinese.

The turnaround in their fortunes has been orchestrated by former Genoa and Palermo boss Gasperini, who took over in 2016.

But the odds are stacked as they take on a City side, who are second in the Premier League and on a run of 10 wins from their last 11 matches in all competitions. – AFP

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