Manchester United are a team under construction but Atalanta must be wary of their potential in the Champions League return match, coach Gian Piero Gasperini said on Monday (Nov 1).
United have been wildly inconsistent, following up a 3-2 win over the Italians two weeks ago with a 5-0 loss to Liverpool and a 3-0 win at Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League.
They travel to Bergamo on Tuesday to face an Atalanta side who are no strangers to English opposition, having played Manchester City and Liverpool in the last two seasons.
“We faced City and Liverpool when they were in a good period, established teams that were well organised for some time with their style of play,” Gasperini told a news conference.
“United seem to be a team in construction that still has some things to work out. But they have considerable potential.
“They might be jumping from a defeat to an impressive win, but that does not take anything away from their potential”
The first meeting at Old Trafford on Oct 20 was a thrilling spectacle, as the visitors raced into a 2-0 halftime lead before the Red Devils turned the game around to win 3-2.
United travel to Italy top of Group F at the halfway stage with six points, two ahead of second-placed Villarreal and Atalanta in third and three clear of bottom side Young Boys.
“Tomorrow will be a completely different game compared to our first meeting,” Gasperini said.
“From that game our personality has stayed with us, in a stadium packed with 70,000 people. We had some very good moments, at other times we had to suffer.”