Lazio will return to the UEFA Champions League after two seasons, having last appeared in the 2021/21 edition when they were eliminated by Bayern Munich in the Round of 16. And Maurizio Sarri is wary of the threat Atletico Madrid are capable of producing, as the two sides prepare to meet in their maiden UCL head-to-head clash in Group E.

Sarri provided an insight as to what he expects from his Biancocelesti outfit in his pre-match press conference (via Sky Italia).

“We haven’t allowed dozens of plays or counterattacks to the opponents. What I’m sorry about is that we’re conceding goals in easily avoidable situations and played 54 balls in the final third without producing anything concrete in the last game. Tomorrow, we have to get a result against Atletico. I don’t know if this is the best time to face them.”

Sarri believes he needs to get results out of his players in a strategic rather than tactical manner.

“We are more strategic than tactical, the idea is to make our play work as best as possible, which hasn’t happened so far. The Champions League is another story, the most important club event in the world, therefore at a very high level. It is a pleasure to be here.”

When quizzed about where Lazio stand from an emotional viewpoint, given their mixed results against Napoli and Juventus respectively, Sarri shunned away such as observation.

“When you play every 70 hours, there’s little to see because there are few training sessions. There’s no point dwelling on the previous match. You have to fix the mistakes.”

Lazio ended their previous UCL group stage campaign on an unbeaten note, winning two and drawing four of their games. They last met Atletico in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League Round of 32 clash, with the Spanish side winning 3-1 in Rome and 1-0 at the Vicente Calderon.

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