Spartak Moscow

The Stage Is Set For Leicester's UEL Clash With Spartak

Both Leicester City and Spartak Moscow carried out media commitments and open training on Wednesday ahead of a clash on Filbert Way in the UEFA Europa League.
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It's City's first outing in the Europa League since leaving Moscow with a stunning 4-3 comeback triumph in the Russian capital, courtesy of Patson Daka's quartet of goals at Otkrytie Bank Arena – which included the competition's fastest-ever hat-trick. 

The two teams have enjoyed varying degrees of success over the weeks which followed that encounter, with the Foxes overcoming Brentford in west London, defeating Brighton & Hove Albion on penalties in the Carabao Cup and losing out to Arsenal on Filbert Way.

Spartak, on the other hand, suffered a 7-1 defeat to reigning Russian champions Zenit Saint Petersburg, before a 95th-minute equaliser earned FC Rostov a 1-1 draw in Moscow on Saturday. Both sides will want to get back to winning ways, especially with just three points separating top from bottom in Group C.

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Patson Daka
Patson Daka

After scoring all four goals in Moscow, Patson Daka is determined to play his part in another victory for the Club.

Wednesday began with training at LCFC Training Ground for the Foxes, with the world's media invited to the Club's world-class headquarters to capture content which will be used across the globe over the coming 24 hours. Shortly afterwards, it was time for press conference responsibilities.

Daka was first up inside the media facilities in Seagrave, taking the top table inside the King Power Centre to speak via video call. The Zambia international striker believes, if selected, that it is likely Spartak will pay him extra attention after his exploits in the Russian capital last month.

"I’m sure their focus and attention is on me," the 23-year-old said. "It’s also a great opportunity for other players because if they concentrate on me, they’ll leave other players free. We have good players in the team. This game is very important for us and we all know what it means for us.

"We don’t want to be just a participant in this Europa League. We want to show how competent we are and how much it means to us to be in this competition. We’re not just excited to be here, we want to go far, so we will push and make sure we get maximum points."

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Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers

Foxes manager Brendan Rodgers outlined the importance of Thursday's fixture to Leicester City.

Manager Brendan Rodgers was next up to address the media and the Northern Irishman was also keen to outline the importance which Thursday's fixture holds for the Club. The target remains qualification, specifically as group winners – the only position which guarantees a place in the Round of 16.

"The importance of the result is clear," he said. "It’s more about the process and how we want to play. That’s what we’ve been convincing the players of over these last few days; the importance to play our game and play to the level... without the ball, being really concentrated and focused and making no mistakes.

"Then, when we have the ball, we want to play with that clarity and freedom which has seen us score in the last game. It’s a home game in the group stage and you want to win all of those, so the importance is there for everyone [to see]."

Later in the day, as the sun retreated beneath the West Stand at Leicester City Stadium, Spartak Moscow's players familiarised themselves with their surroundings on Filbert Way. Aside from former Chelsea winger Victor Moses, it will have been a new experience for many.

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Victor Moses
Victor Moses

Nigeria international Victor Moses is a familiar face for followers of English football.

"We’re looking forward to the game," Moses said on Filbert Way. "It’s not going to be an easy game for us. We know what to expect after playing them at home. We were 2-0 up and lost the game 4-3. That's football at the end of the day. We’ve come back with a different strategy.

"We need to stick together as a team and it’ll definitely be a difficult game for us, and for them as well. We’re looking forward to it. They’re playing at home, they’ll have the advantage, but we’re looking forward to it. May the best team win at the end of the day.

"I believe in my team, the players and the manager, and we’ll do our best."

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Rui Vitória
Rui Vitória

Rui Vitória wants to see an improvement from his Spartak side in Leicester on Thursday evening.

Former Benfica manager Rui Vitória, meanwhile, has been with Spartak since May and also spoke to both Russian and British journalists on Wednesday evening. The Portuguese is determined to see an improvement in results from his side.

"Tomorrow's game is a different game, we're playing in Europe," Vitória told the media. "It is a serious opponent and we have learned our lessons. We'll play as a team with good expectations. We have to be concentrated. We have to have attention to small details.

"Those details at this level make all the difference. We scored three goals in the game in Moscow. If you score three goals against Leicester, you have to win."

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