Sandro Schwarz: We are full of confidence ahead of the match against Zenit

# Sandro Schwarz

Dynamo Head Coach answered journalists' questions on the eve of the match against the Saint Petersburg side.

— We are looking forward to this rivalry. Two leaders of the championship are playing in the final game of the year. Zenit are a very difficult and skilled opponent. We are waiting for a tough rivalry, but we believe in our ourselves. We will give our best to come to a positive result. This training week is going very positively, the guys are fully ready for Sunday's fixture.

— Does Sebastian Szymanski have a chance to play in this match?

— Our medical staff is doing everything possible to set him right to the match. He hasn't trained with the team yet. Tomorrow we will know exactly whether he will be available or not.

— What are Diego Laxalt’s conditions? He is already training with the team. Will he be included in the team list?

— He will be in the team list. Another question is whether he will be able to come on the pitch during the game. There is no final decision yet.

— There is information that tomorrow's match in Moscow between CSKA and Arsenal will be postponed. What can you say about the weather in the capital?

— In the Cup encounter against Spartak, the weather was also very frosty, and then we trained at a temperature of -16 degrees. So we are not surprised by such frosts. The guys hold their training sessions in the open air.

— Were you surprised by the score of the Zenit vs Chelsea match? Do you think the game of the Saint Petersburg side will change on Sunday?

— No, I was not surprised by this score. The first round encounter that was held in London was also equal. So such a course of the match was not unexpected. When the rival allows playing, such a skilled team like Zenit takes its chances. In any case, we need to focus on our play and show the football that we consider effective.

— Yaroslav Rakitskiy will miss the match because of the dismissal. Do you expect Douglas Santos to take his place, or the game scheme will be different?

— We understand how important Rakitskiy is for Zenit formation. But they have a lot of players to replace him. Zenit can play both with 3 centre-backs or 4 defenders in a line. We need to stick to our principles and give a hundred and ten percent.

— In addition to Rakitskiy, Wendel and Sardar Azmoun are also questionable. Do you pay attention to this?

— We don’t look at who comes on the pitch at Zenit. We simply understand that all Zenit players have a high level of individual skills. So, if necessary, the club can find an option to replace any footballer without quality loss.

— Is this match the most important in your Russian career? Can you compare it with any other one?

— I had quite a few big matches in my career both as a coach and as a player. I would not like to draw any parallels. There is only here and now. We did a huge amount of work. I think that the best thing to happen is a match when the first and second-place teams are facing each other. We are looking forward to this match and understand the pressure that reigns around it.

— With what mood do you come to this important fixture? Are you preparing some special motivational speech?

— We know that the permissible capacity of the stadium has now increased. And we are happy about this decision. Our fans’ support is very important. Of course, we need to tune in to this game properly. But we should not forget how to play on the pitch. So it's worth talking about a certain synergy of emotions and tactical aspect.

— There is information that Zeljko Buvac and you are ready to extend the contract with Dynamo. Can you confirm it?

— Zeljko and I feel very comfortable at the club. We feel great. Negotiations are underway, and as soon as the final decision is made, we will inform you about it.

— Zaurbek Pliyev and Saba Sazonov did not get much playing time in the first part of the season. Do you count on them in the spring?

— Both players always give their best in training. Yes, they don't have a lot of playing practice right now, but it's worth of remark that we need not only the starting lineup players, but also those who remain on the bench.

— Have you analyzed the game of the first round? Have you noticed anything new?

— Of course, we watched the first round match, which was played not so long ago. We have analyzed all Zenit fixtures since then. We won four back-to-back games since that rivalry and we are full of confidence ahead the last match of the year. This Sunday we need to prove our worth on the pitch.

— Zakharyan won the Top Five award. How did Arsen react to this recognition? Have you had a special conversation?

— We didn't talk to him about this award. Now all our thoughts are focused on Sunday's game. But I want to note that this prize is absolutely deserved. It proves that Arsen works very hard on his development every day. I am very happy for him. His attitude to training sessions and official matches has not changed in any way. He always behaves professionally on the football pitch.

— Today is the International Football Day. Are you going to celebrate it somehow?

— There are a little more holidays in Russia than in Germany. I still need to get used to this fact. We have not thought yet how our coaching staff will celebrate this holiday.