Luke Thomas & Christian Fuchs

Foxes Complete Slavia Prague Preparations In Czech Capital

Leicester City's players and staff were in a relaxed but focused mood on Thursday morning ahead of the Foxes' UEFA Europa League Round of 32 first leg tie against Czech Republic champions Slavia Prague.
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Clear blue skies and a temperature of eight degrees Celsius greeted the Foxes on Thursday morning, far milder than the forecast just a week ago, which suggested it could fall as low as -10 in the evening.

Following the events of Wednesday morning - which included training and press duties at LCFC Training Ground in Seagrave - the Club's travelling contingent departed the East Midlands in the afternoon, arriving in the stunning city of Prague shortly after the sun had set.

While unfortunately unable to experience the city's culture and magnificent architecture, due to COVID-19 restrictions in the country, the Foxes initially settled down at the Club's hotel for a team meal.

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Luke Thomas & Christian Fuchs
Luke Thomas & Christian Fuchs

The two Leicester City left-backs spoke for some time to members of the Club's fanbase back in the United Kingdom.

Afterwards, 2015/16 Premier League title winner Christian Fuchs and fellow left-back Luke Thomas, an Academy graduate at Leicester City, retreated to the lobby, where they would meet up, virtually, with members of the Foxes faithful. 

Arranged ahead of each away European fixture this season, these calls allow the Blue Army to ask questions directly to figures from within City's first team squad over a Zoom meeting, shepherded by Leicester legends Matt Elliott and Gerry Taggart.

Speaking to Leicester fan, Naomi, Fuchs said: "We want to go as far as possible, but tomorrow we play against a team that are top of their table. They also came through a group with Bayer Leverkusen, so they're a good side. You can never underestimate any club in the Europa League."

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Luke Thomas & Christian Fuchs
Luke Thomas & Christian Fuchs

Former Austria captain Christian Fuchs was his typically jovial self in conversation with a group of lucky Foxes supporters.

Asked by Jack for his proudest moment to date in a Foxes shirt, Luke replied: "Probably my debut. I think, for a debut, it was a good performance and the feeling for me and my family, to play for Leicester City, was the best feeling ever! The Sheffield United game, definitely."

Across the city, meanwhile, Slavia Prague were completing their own media requirements, with manager Jindřich Trpišovský and midfielder Nicolae Stanciu addressing the Czech press at Sinobo Stadium - Thursday night's venue.

Trpišovský, the 2019 Czech Coach of the Year and successive title winner with Slavia, was keen to point to Leicester's tactical flexibility, while also highlighting the threats of Harvey Barnes, who has netted 12 goals in all competitions in 2020/21.

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Nicolae Stanciu
Nicolae Stanciu

Nicolae Stanciu, who has 42 caps for Romania, was speaking to the Czech media.

"Leicester is a difficult team," the 44-year-old said. "They have different formations. Recently, they changed it three times during one match, so that is something we need to be aware of. They have different types of players and we do not know who will be playing tomorrow.

"For the time being, we are focusing on our preparation. We are trying to do what we can. It's a strong team and we need to focus on the preparation. We'll see how it goes."

On Barnes, meanwhile, Slavia's manager added: "He is a player who has great qualities. I think he has become one of the key offensive players. He is often in the line-up for important matches and it must feel great for him. It's always good for the team because they didn't have to pay to get him.

Leicester have a lot of good players, they won the league four or five years ago in England, but I’m more excited for the game, and to meet Youri Tielemans again, because we played together in Anderlecht some years ago.

Nicolae Stanciu

"They brought him up since he was young. The Premier League is something I watch very closely and I must admit that, for me, he is one of the top three players for Leicester."

Sat alongside his manager, Stanciu - a former team-mate of City midfielder Youri Tielemans at Anderlecht - also spoke with excitement about the prospect of facing the Foxes, even if fans cannot be there to support the home side.

"We miss the fans a lot," he told the media in Prague. "We feel their support. We know they are close to us. We see their reaction on social media and I'd like to say that, tomorrow, we'll give everything on the pitch, thinking about them. Hopefully we'll win to make them enjoy.

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Prague
Prague

The wonderful city of Prague falls silent on Wednesday evening.

"I hope to see them soon in the stadium. Leicester have a lot of good players, they won the league four or five years ago in England, but I’m more excited for the game, and to meet Youri Tielemans again, because we played together in Anderlecht some years ago."

Throughout Thursday, a quiet day including team meetings, recreational time and group meals awaits the Foxes, before making the short journey to Sinobo Stadium to continue the Club's exciting Europa League debut campaign.

Live coverage of Thursday's European tie is available, for free, on LCFC Radio from 4:25pm GMT.

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