Atalanta Manager Says Iličić Likely Will Not Feature in Champions League Fixture Against PSG

For the fifth match in a row, Atalanta was without the services of Josip Iličić, but the club still managed to secure a win as it defeated Parma 2-1 in a Serie A fixture on Tuesday. Iličić missed the contest due to fitness level concerns. Even as the club extended its current league unbeaten streak to 17 games, the main concern continues to be whether the attacking-minded talent will feature against Paris Saint-Germain in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal bout next month.

At the moment, this is not looking to be the case.

Following the team’s win over Parma, Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini provided (via CalcioMercato) an update on Iličić’s condition. While the club wants to remain hopeful that the Slovenian will be ready to go for the duel against PSG, Gasperini is not optimistic about Iličić’s chances of featuring in the contest.

“We are traveling the day, but more days go by and it gets more difficult,” Gasperini said. “We have been many months without Zapata, now in the decisive moment of the season there is this other absence.”

The loss of Iličić for the fixture could end up being the deciding factor in which team moves on. Gasperini noted that his influence on Atalanta rivals that of other top Serie A talents with their respective clubs.

“For us Iličić is fundamental,” Gasperini said. “It was his season. It’s like Juve without Dybala or Lazio without Immobile and Inter without Lukaku.”

Gasperini will accept the challenge of adversity that will come if Iličić misses the contest. He hopes that several notable role players on the team will continue to step up and fill the void left by the Slovenian.

“The team is enduring well, although there is no other player with his characteristics,” Gasperini said. “We are adapting by looking for other balances with Gomez, Pasalic and Malinovskyi. Without Zapata we had found them, now a little less, but we make up for with other qualities.”

So far, Atalanta has not officially ruled out the attacking talent for the match, but it is highly unlikely at this point that he will feature in any minutes of the much-anticipated Champions League clash.

Want more PSG? Visit the PSG Talk Podcast Network page and subscribe to PSG TalkingThe 1970, and 24th & Parc. 

Tags Atalanta Champions League Josip Iličić
Follow Us