As Lazio gears up to face Celtic in the upcoming Champions League encounter, the team’s manager, Maurizio Sarri, doesn’t mask his displeasure, on edge due to UEFA’s scheduling, and voicing accusations that his players are being led to the “slaughterhouse.”

Ivan Provedel Lazio
Soccer Football – Champions League – Group E – Lazio v Atletico Madrid – Stadio Olimpico, Rome, Italy – September 19, 2023 Lazio’s Ivan Provedel celebrates scoring their first goal REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

The side, which Celtic have beaten home and away in recent years, are heading to Glasgow amidst a relentless series of games, aiming to expand on their recent draw with Atletico Madrid.

Lazio lost 2-0 to AC Milan on Saturday, marking their fourth Serie A defeat this season.

Sarri lambasts the current schedule before the crucial Scotland visit, admitting he’s unsure what players he’ll have available for the trip, due to injuries he says are caused by the fixture congestion.

Venting his frustrations, he said: [RecordSport]

“I am ferociously p***** off at UEFA, FIFA and Serie A and all this gang for this crazy calendar.

“They are sending these guys to the slaughterhouse without anyone intervening. Football is like this these days…take the money and run. But actually, now there is less of it and it is only going to maybe 30, 40, 50 players.

“In all my years in football, I have never seen a schedule like this. They have made us have three away games in a row at Napoli, Juventus and AC Milan. This is why we are struggling.

“I don’t know what our aim is in Europe – the only thing we can do is try to get out of the group. But the Champions League is a luxury for us. Serie A is our main priority. We are not a great team. But we have had about 50 muscle injuries this season. We have to play every three days and then the players go and play in international breaks.

“I hope FIFA, UEFA and Serie A accept responsibility for this. I am completely outraged by them. I don’t know who will be fit for the Celtic game because we have so many injuries. For example, I had to put Ciro Immobile on the bench because he had a slight knock before the match. It was a risk putting him on. I will turn my attention to Celtic on Monday.”

Celtic could have an opportunity to exploit Lazio’s injuries and poor form on Wednesday night, but it will be no easy task.

If Celtic are looking to play European football after Christmas, a win is needed on Wednesday.


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