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Gian Piero Gasperini, the Atalanta coach, said his team will not lose character when they face Real Madrid in the 16th round of the Champions League.

The two teams meet in Bergamo on Wednesday, and 13-time European champions Real Madrid travel to Italy, with a squad of only 11 players ready from the first team.

Atalanta, who reached the quarter-finals in their first season in the competition last year, is renowned for their great physical exertion and offensive play.

Gasperini, at a press conference, confirmed his determination not to change the way the team plays too much against Real Madrid, saying " We will not lose our character against Real Madrid which helped us to qualify for the Champions League and the competition of the big ones in Italy."

"The spirit of the team will not change, but we have to be careful and focused. We want to compete with the best teams in the world."

Real Madrid is missing several high-profile players in Italy, with striker Karim Benzema joining Eden Hazard, Sergio Ramos, Dani Carvajal, and Marcelo on the injury list this week.

But the Spanish giant will enter tomorrow's showdown with a win of four consecutive league games, to advance to second place and has not entered any goal in the last 3 games.

"Winning will be the best result, but we have to be careful," Gasperini said. "We will face a serious opponent even in the absence of many of his players."

"We're calm. We are not the most-nominated party and we are not under pressure to qualify. "We want to test our abilities against a Real Madrid rival to see how we develop."

Atalanta has made good performances recently and has won three consecutive matches and has not lost in the last five games before facing Real Madrid.