Atalanta not favourites in Italian Cup final, says Gasperini

Atalanta do not consider themselves favourites against Juventus in next week's Italian Cup final despite their strong results this season, manager Gian Piero Gasperini said on Sunday.

The 66-year-old's Atalanta side have been in extraordinary form this term, reaching the Europa League final as well as the Coppa Italia showpiece, and won 2-1 at home to rivals AS Roma in Serie A on Sunday in the race for European places.

Atalanta are now fifth and in the final Champions League spot with 63 points, three points ahead of Roma and with a game in hand. They can also secure a ticket to Europe's elite club competition if they overcome Bayer Leverkusen, who are unbeaten this season, in the Europa League final on May 22 in Dublin.

On Wednesday, a Juve side in a slump await in the Italian Cup final as Gasperini seeks his first trophy with Atalanta since he started the job in 2016.

"I think it's a bit much to suggest we'd be favourites against Juve. We are in good form, but it's difficult to tell playing every three days," Gasperini told DAZN.

"Naturally, we go into this Coppa Italia Final with great enthusiasm."

Against Roma, Atalanta's AC Milan loanee Charles De Ketelaere dominated, scoring twice inside 20 minutes, and has flourished since joining the club.

"Everyone knew he could play, or Milan would not have made an investment like that. He deserves the credit, he was going all over the place, right, left and centre tonight," Gasperini said.

Lorenzo Pellegrini reduced the deficit for the visitors with a penalty after 66 minutes but overall Atalanta were dominant.

While Gasperini was happy with the win, he did not enjoy the wastefulness of his side.

"I don't know if we've learned a lesson, other than we had so many scoring opportunities and did not aim properly, otherwise we would have killed it off a lot earlier," he said.

"Failing to win this match really would have caused us a lot of problems."