Sarri: ‘Luiz Felipz injury not serious, I have rarely seen a pitch in these conditions’

Maurizio Sarri bemoans the pitch conditions in Rome when Lazio prepare to play Spezia on Saturday and was sure Luiz Felipe ‘has not suffered a serious injury’.

Lazio secured a 3-1 win in the first Serie A match against Empoli on August 21 and prepare for their first home game at the Olimpico against Spezia this weekend.

“We must try to improve in all aspects,” Sarri said at a press conference. “In the second half against Empoli, the centre of gravity of the team was too low.

“Little by little we will be able to climb, it will be a path with no linear growth.”

Sarri then said Luiz Felipe will be evaluated ahead of the match against the Aquilotti.

“We are sure that he has not suffered a serious injury,” Sarri said. “He was checked this morning, tomorrow morning we will evaluate if he plays against Spezia.

Toma Basic arrived from Ligue 1 side Girondins de Bordeaux and Sarri said he will be available against Spezia.

“Physically he’s ready, he has already played three games in France,” Sarri added. “Clearly he can’t be inserted as fast as Pedro.

“He comes from another League, he speaks another language, he has other experiences. I haven’t seen much from him. He can play with both feet.”

Sarri revealed he has tried different tactics in training with the Biancocelesti.

“It’s true, during a training session we played a match with a team lined up in a 4-3-1-2 formation, but only because we were testing the set-up of Empoli, whom we played on Saturday.”

The coach expects a tough game against Spezia, who played 2-2 against Cagliari in the first round.

“It’s a game that worries the opponents. Spezia are dynamic, aggressive and it will be difficult to play them,” Sarri said.

“It’s played in August at 18.30 [local time], we have to hope for favourable weather conditions. I also saw that we play on a pitch that is unworthy for the city of Rome, I have rarely seen a pitch in these conditions.”

On Luis Alberto, the coach said the Spanish midfielder is still ‘important’ for Lazio.

“Physically he’s growing, but we have to manage the team in a difficult moment of transition,” Sarri said.

“Lazio could afford certain things because there were five defenders and one and a half forwards. In the first matches, the friendly with Sassuolo and the match in Empoli, we favoured solidity, but this doesn’t mean that Luis Alberto is not an important player.

“I always like quality players.”

Lazio are drawn in a tough Europa League group, but Sarri doesn’t think about the competition starting in 20 days.

Europa League draw: Tough task for Sarri’s Lazio, whilst Napoli play Leicester City

“We cannot spend too much energy now thinking about the Europa League, which starts in 20 days,” he said. “We will play it with a lot of commitment.

“With the introduction of the Conference League, it will be more difficult in the group stage, which was more reachable last year.”