Slot and Feyenoord play again in Rome: ‘World of difference at home and away’
Rome is slowly becoming familiar territory for Feyenoord. The Rotterdammers are visiting the Italian capital for the third time in less than a season and a half. Last season, SS Lazio and city rivals AS Roma were the opponents in the Europa League. Arne Slot’s team will play again in Rome on Tuesday.
Again against Lazio, but this time in the Champions League, the most important European football tournament. The home match two weeks ago was won by a wide margin (3-1) and that gave me a lot of confidence.
Slot emphasized several times at the press conference that it will not be that easy against the Italian number ten on Tuesday. “There’s a world of difference between home and away.”
The trainer says that his team played “perhaps the best match of this season” two weeks ago. Lazio coach Maurizio Sarri called Feyenoord “one of the most aggressive teams in Europe” on Monday and said that his team was quite embarrassed by the Dutch team two weeks ago.
Slot thinks that it helps Lazio enormously that they are not playing in Rotterdam. “De Kuip does something with us, but also with the opponent. There you feel more mental pressure.” Slot also thinks that his colleague Sarri will come up with a solid plan.
Striker Calvin Stengs also does not assume that Feyenoord will have an effortless evening. “We are going to see a completely different Lazio.”
Stengs goes to the match against Lazio Rome with confidence
Although the Stadio Olimpico, which can accommodate more than seventy thousand spectators, is far from sold out at the time of writing, Stengs expects that the supporters who are present will provide a “hot” atmosphere.
It is the first time for Stengs to play in the Italian stadium. Many of his teammates and coach Slot have a history there since last season. Based on the performances (4-2 loss against Lazio and 4-1 loss against Roma) the memories will not be warm.
“Last season we completely outplayed Lazio,” says Slot. He says that his team was not yet ready for the top competitions due to the many newcomers. Now he finds his team further than he had “expected and hoped”.
So he doesn’t want to know that his team is now in a crisis of form. Because after the home victory over Lazio, Feyenoord suffered a defeat at FC Twente and recorded an apparently difficult victory in Waalwijk against RKC (2-1). “We are in a lesser phase, if I may believe it,” says Slot cynically.
According to him, it was not bad at all against RKC. Slot felt that his team was unhappy in the finishing. Top scorer Santiago Gimenez crossed the ball over the goal from eleven meters. Slot does not make the failed panenka bigger than it is. “I had a conversation with Santiago. Just like with other players.”
He seems to find it laughable that it is said that the Mexican striker is out of shape. “Not scoring for two games and then being out of shape, that is a big compliment for Santiago.”
Feyenoord had to do it in Waalwijk without Gernot Trauner and Mats Wieffer. They traveled with the team to Rome. The Austrian was injured in his knee for a month and is available. “If he can get through tonight’s training,” says Slot. The defender will not be in the starting line-up anyway.
Wieffer was ill last weekend and is training for the first time tonight. It is expected that he will start. A striking fact is that the Dutch international made his debut for Feyenoord last year when visiting Lazio. He and his team can show how much can change in just over a year.
The post first appeared on nos.nl