Finishing off

Zenit had its last long practice in Dubai on Thursday, at the practice facilities located right alongside the team`s hotel. The coaches` notebooks have just one more event written down for Dubai: Friday`s friendly with Metalist.

Luciano Spalletti began his morning practice with a very in-depth analysis of the match with Al Hilal, and gave expanded on all the shortcomings or, on the contrary, all of the positive sides, to his team`s play in the match. The coach never once mentioned any names of any players throughout the whole analysis, whether speaking of plusses or minuses.

The practice itself started with a half-hour warm-up. The footballers got ready for heavy workloads on all the main muscle groups. The practice continued with a series of running exercises on grass. Just like on the first day of practice, the Zenit players ran through the chez lounges spread around the hotel area while a camel watched on curiously. After that the team shifted to the less traditional jumping exercises in the sand and running on up sand hills. The physical conditioning ended with another series of the film “Spalletti and his tennis ball”. The amount of emotion and betting at the last tennis ball match was greater than on any previous day, but the result was entirely expected – the rivalries will be continued in Spain at the second pre-season training session!

Zenit`s schedule for Friday is typical for a match day: breakfast, morning warmups, lunch, pre-match tactical preparations, travel to the match, and the game itself. The match with Metalist will start at 15:00 St. Petersburg time.