Europa League final: Xabi Alonso confident of Leverkusen victory over Atalanta


Bayer Leverkusen manager Xabi Alonso is confident that his team will claim victory in the Europa League final against Atalanta in Dublin on Wednesday night.

The German outfit have been the talk of the season having gone unbeaten in all competitions this season and clinched a first-ever Bundesliga title.

They are now on course for an unprecedented treble but will face a stern test against an Atalanta side that have qualified for their maiden European final and will be pumped up in bringing the trophy home to Bergamo.

Alonso however believes his side are well prepared to deal with any threat that Atalanta possess.

“Well, the excitement, but for sure my job is prior to the game,” Alonso said ahead of the game. “Once the ball is rolling, it’s time for the players, so it’s time to help them. But for sure, I think that, what I’ve said before, we have been preparing for these moments through all the year.

“It’s not just, two days, a two-day job. And, you know, luckily, I have a great team. I have players that they are ready for sure. They are well prepared for [the final]. We have shown that during the whole year and I have a good feeling that it’s not going to be different.

“We respect so much Atalanta, but we have confidence in our game, in our mentality ,that it’s not going to change and then with the confidence that we can make it.”

One player that will be missing the final is Atalanta captain Marten De Roon who picked up a hamstring injury during the Coppa Italia final loss to Juventus last week.

As much as that is a big blow for La Dea, coach Gian Piero Gasperini says his team have no excuse not to bring home the trophy.

“Mentally and physically, yes. And with the fact that we have qualified for the Champions League next season even more so,” the 66-year-old said.

“Personally, I’m disappointed that Marten De Roon won’t be involved, first and foremost because of what a player he is on the pitch. But above all because he is a guy who deserves to be on the pitch, he’s given so much to Atalanta.

“It’s a real shame that he has to miss oout on the most important match, the European final. But in this moment it’s not easy when you play every three days a week for three months as we have, to always produce your best football.

“We’ve played a lot of matches, in a positive way, but we still have regrets over our game against Juventus, which was not one of our better performances for various reasons.

“But now it’s another game, another cup final. It’s a new match with a very prestigious trophy on the line. So we got no excuses.”

Leverkusen overcame Qarabag, West Ham United and AS Roma to reach the final while Atalanta got past Sporting Lisbon, Liverpool and Olympique Marseille.

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