Tuesday Apr 25, 2017  
     
 
  17/07/2014: Auronzo di Cadore: Day 7
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Having defeated Top 11 Radio Club 9-0, the Lazio players were rewarded with the morning off and a lovely breakfast. It has been an intense week, but there has been a bit more relaxation time as the week has gone on. Training begins at 5pm as the players leave the gym and begin warming up on the field following a short speech from manager, Stefano Pioli.

The exercises were very particular today. Pioli playfully worked on acceleration and stamina as he divided his squad into two groups and asked them to run to a corner of the pitch on the whistle of coach Lucareli. These corners acted as a base and the path was laden with obstacles. Those who came last on each team faced a punishment.

He followed this up with a defensive exercise that tested the player's ability to press opponents, and a second simultaneous exercise whereby two attackers took on three defenders, with the intention of enabling his attackers to take advantage in good positions even when they are at a numerical disadvantage. Pioli rotates his players so they get to work on both exercises. Pioli demands that the players get the ball from one end of the pitch to the other as quickly as possible when countering, and he also looks for intelligent movement off-the-ball.

The final exercise of the day is a typical training ground exercise whereby players rotate and swing a rope, improving their flexibility and upper body strength. Ederson - who has been training separately - joins in.

The day ends with the now customary match. Braafheid does not take part and continues training alone, while Konko is altogether absent having participated earlier in the session. This forces Pioli into some tactical changes, but he does not deviate from the 4-3-3, and we see Cavanda tried at left-back and Pereirinha at right-back for the first time this pre-season. The teams were as follows:

Bibs (4-3-3): Guerrieri; Pereirinha, Novaretti, Filippini, Cavanda; Cataldi, Ledesma, Vinicius; Alfaro, Rozzi, Keita

Non-bibs (4-3-3): Strakosha; Basta, Cana, Ciani, Radu; Antic, Elez, Mauri; Felipe Anderson, Djordjevic, Oikonomidis.

The game is played once again on a pitch that has been reduced in size and it finishes 1-1. Vinicius once again finds the net, and Pioli's innovation of trying him in the centre of midfield appears to be showing promise. Felipe Anderson also got on the scoresheet from the penalty spot as Ledesma bundled over Oikonomidis in the box.

Pioli was rather vocal during the game. He singled out Felipe Anderson, asking him to keep up the hard work. Felipe Anderson has played well in pre-season so far, but has been visibly disheartened when he fails to meet his own high standards. Another criticism was the defensive lines, as Pioli is keen to see his back four keep in line.

The presentation of the 2014-15 Lazio will take place tonight at 9pm CET.
Author: Cathal Mullan
 
 
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