EDF: ‘Atalanta can take fourth place’

Eusebio Di Francesco said Atalanta “strike fear into opponents and have the potential for a top four finish, but has Daniele De Rossi back in the Roma squad.

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“Daniele De Rossi is available and the knee reacted well, although obviously he’s been out for a while and it remains to be seen how much he could actually play,” said the Coach in his Press conference.

“It’s between Rick Karsdorp and Davide Santon at full-back, as Alessandro Florenzi and Lorenzo Pellegrini need to be evaluated tomorrow. I could move Nicolò Zaniolo to the right flank to fill in for Cengiz Under, while Patrik Schick and Justin Kluivert have played there before too.

“The line-up is somewhat up in the air at the moment. Edin Dzeko has trained very well, but obviously when a striker doesn’t score goals, he gets frustrated and irritable. I am convinced he’ll get back to scoring ways very soon.

“Steven Nzonzi has recovered fully and he is a very physical player, so can be particularly helpful against a side like Atalanta.”

The Orobici are currently surging up the standings and sit in seventh place, only two points shy of Roma in fifth.

“Atalanta are a side to be feared in the battle for fourth place, as they don’t have any European distractions going forward, just the Coppa Italia. They strike fear into opponents, as they have all the potential to aim for a top four finish.

“I have a great deal of respect for Gian Piero Gasperini and the way he has built his team, as he knows what he wants in physical and technical terms. He has a specific way of training and you see the results on the pitch.

“There are many dangers, we’ve got to match their aggression and physicality. It’s certainly going to be a hard-fought encounter, as they always did well at home against the big clubs. We must try to impose our style of football regardless.

“Atalanta have a lot of quality too, with Josip Ilicic and Papu Gomez. The important thing is that we don’t get out of the way when they come at us. They’ll do the same with us. I expect a very open game.”

Di Francesco confirmed they are “evaluating” possible loan spells for Ante Coric and Luca Pellegrini.

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