Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri is prepared for a tough match against Lokomotiv Moscow tomorrow.

Speaking to gathered reporters in a press conference (via La Lazio Siamo Noi) earlier today, the 62-year-old Italian coach first commented on the changes that Lokomotiv Moscow have undergone since their last encounter.

Seeing them after the change of coach I noticed a different team, superior. It’ll be a difficult game, we must move forward through this game, they need the same to enter at least the playoffs. 

It’s not easy, it could be an open game in theory, we both need points. It will be much more difficult than the first leg.

The Lazio coach discussed the importance of tomorrow’s match against Lokomotiv considering the league schedule – Juventus last weekend and Napoli this weekend.

We have to disregard everything else, if you make calculations it all gets tangled up, if we think that in 72 hours we’ll play Napoli again you can make different choices, we think from game to game. 

I don’t like to be too influenced because then I risk influencing both matches.

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Sarri touched on the physical fitness of both star striker Ciro Immobile and other members of the squad.

The schedule a player is going through is important, those who are going to the national team are getting much more minutes. 

In the statistics we put the minutes in the league, as if in the cup or national team we don’t struggle. 

We have to see the total minutes, for now they are reacting well, one of these is Acerbi, until they have signs of weakness we will go on. 

Immobile is pretty good. He did the first and second training session he had no pain, but he felt different sensations in the calf, in the last days this sensation has disappeared.

The 62-year-old Italian coach gave his thoughts on Italian winger Mattia Zaccagni.

He is probably a less fit player, he has been through some problems that did not allow him to keep the form of the beginning of the season. 

When he has training and looks like he’ll do his homework because maybe he doesn’t feel like playing in his legs.

He discussed his and the team’s goals for the Europa League this season.

I’ve said that for us it’s not a problem at all, going around Europe and playing after 66 hours is a huge problem, not only for us. 

We’ll go there and we’ll play for it, I said. As it should be. We can’t think about going around Europe and not qualifying. If you ask me if Europe is a problem, I’ll say yes. 

Before, we could play on Mondays, now almost never, the schedule is difficult and for me it leads to a deterioration of the quality of the matches. 

Many of them are without four players, I am amazed that their association is silent, they protest for an extra week of vacation at Christmas, then they say nothing for all these games.

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The Lazio coach commented on why the team has issues performing in away games this campaign.

Anyone who underestimates our Europa League group is crazy. I’ve seen the Champions League groups, some are not as difficult as ours. 

It’s not just in Europe that we have a problem, it’s also in the league, it’s never happened to me in the past with my teams, it’s something we have to put right at all costs. 

The goals are the same, the pitches are the same size, the away grounds for us can’t get any worse. I don’t really understand why. 

He touched on how Napoli play today and Lazio play tomorrow.

One day out of three is 33%, a lot. That’s the schedule, the rules say that the one with the highest ranking stays on Thursday and that’s Lokomotiv. 

One of the reasons I said it was difficult before. 

Finally, Sarri discussed the physical condition of Lucas Leiva and if he’ll play soon.

I won’t tell you, not out of disrespect to the journalists, but for the players. 

Leiva is better, he has a small drop in form, normal, compared to 20 days ago I’m seeing him better, even he told me that he feels fresher. 

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