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Lucien Favre kicks-off the match

Pre-match Nice - Lazio

October 18, 2017

Lucien Favre kicks-off the match

The day before Nice – Lazio, Lucien Favre was present at the press conference alongside Christophe Jallet on Wednesday. In front of a group of French and Italian journalists, the Nice coach kicked-off this dual at the top of Group K in the Europa League.

Which is the most important fixture of the week. Against Lazio or Strasbourg?

Strasbourg will be important, but we are really concentrating on Lazio. Of course, as a coach you always have one eye on Strasbourg because we will play very early on Sunday at 3pm. We need to reflect, and anticipate. But, above all, we need to play well against Lazio.

“The 4-4-2 allowed us to lift our heads above the water”

Have you taken the decision to change the system?

Even after the first match against Monaco, I had said that this system (4-4-2) could be fragile. It depends on details, and once they have been corrected, the team will be more solid defensively, which is important. But that doesn't put anything in doubt: the 4-4-2 can be useful for us. You can't forget that it allowed us to lift our heads above the water. We also lost on two occasions when we shouldn't have lost. It's a very thin line. But as I already said, we need to try other set-ups, work on them in training to be able to put them into action in games. But it isn't easy, to find other systems. For tomorrow, we will see, I don't know yet. There are a couple of niggles, we will see who is there, we need to assess things today. I can't say anymore. We won't be able to do like we did last season, when we played 5-6 systems, that will be impossible this year.

How would you define Lazio?

They are one of the big Italian clubs, without a doubt. They have had quite a few highs and lows in recent years, but they have bounced back. Last year, they finished well in the league (5th, Editor's note) and this season they are doing slightly better (3rd after 8 games). When they win 2-1 at Juve last week, that shows you something... They are a good team. We know what that means, we played Napoli, who are top in Italy.

“Sneijder, I see him more as a 9 and a half”

Where is Wesley Sneijder at?

He has been able to train normally this time round, with some good sessions. I think he will be in the mix, that's for sure.

Is he ready?

I hope so, and I think so. He has trained well, with lots of physical work. It's been a while since he last played but that should be fine. At the beginning, he arrived behind in his pre-season prep and then he got injured. And then, when it was working in the 4-4-2, it wasn't necessary to rotate. Now, we will see, I see him more as a 9 and a half.”

Is there a big difference between the team that Lazio play in the league and in Europe?

It's practically always the same system. There are only 4-5 changes, and 3 players who could have had a starting place that come on during the game. They therefore have 8 players that play very regularly. There are lots of people in the mix, but they rarely change their system, even in the league. Against Juve, they played in a 3-5-2 or a 3-6-1. But they also changed a couple of times, like against Vitesse, when they were trailing 2-1, they changed into a diamond on the hour mark and turned the game around. But on the whole, they don't vary things. Sometimes, they have two real forwards with Caceido and Immobile, but it's mainly a 3-6-1 with a 10 who plays around Immobile. With Milinkovic-Savic, Parolo, etc., they have players who head into spaces. They move forward quickly, are very good with one and two touches and combine quickly in the final 30 metres.

“We learn in every match”

After Ajax and Napoli, a new big side is now in your sights. Can the experience that you gained this summer help you?

Of course. We learn from every match. Each win, each defeat needs to help us. Lazio are a good side, who are playing well at the moment. Against Ajax, we went through, then against Napoli it was a lesson but it was very very hard, against an excellent side, a very very good European level. We need to hold on to certain things: how and at what speed they travel, the quantity of movement, runs etc. The technique in their movement, for example, it's a very very high level.