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Zapata on bench as Ilicic starts for Atalanta against Valencia

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Josip Ilicic and Papuu Gomez will spearhead the Atalanta attack as the Champions League debutants take on Valencia in the last 16, first leg on Wednesday in Milan, with Duvan Zapata named as a substitute.

Ilicic has never scored in the Champions League
AFP

Gian Piero Gasperini opted for a 3-4-1-2 formation against the Spaniards with Colombian striker Zapata, who scored Atalanta’s first ever Champions League goal against Shakhtar Donetsk, starting on the bench as he continues to search for full fitness following a three-month injury layoff.

Slovenian Ilicic is Atalanta’s leading scorer this season with 15 goals in all competitions.

Robin Gosens and Hans Hateboer will play as wing-backs either side of Marten de Roon and Remo Freuler in midfield at the San Siro.

Valencia coach Albert Celades left striker Kevin Gameiro on the bench, with Goncalo Guedes starting alongside Maxi Gomez up front.

Atalanta (3-4-1-2)

Pierluigi Gollini; Rafael Toloi, Jose Luis Palomino, Berat Djimsiti; Hans Hateboer, Marten De Roon, Remo Freuler, Robin Gosens; Mario Pasalic; Josip Ilicic, Papu Gomez

Coach: Gian Piero Gasperini (ITA)

Valencia (4-4-2)

Jaume Domenech; Daniel Wass, Mouctar Diakhaby, Eliaquim Mangala, Jose Luis Gaya; Ferran Torres, Dani Parejo, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Carlos Soler; Goncalo Guedes, Maxi Gomez

Coach: Albert Celades (ESP)

Referee: Michael Oliver (ENG)

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