Sergei Semak: "We will mostly focus on the condition of the players when rotating"

The Zenit manager spoke to the media ahead of the away Russian Cup game with Spartak Moscow. 
Sergei Semak: "We will mostly focus on the condition of the players when rotating"

You’ve a very busy schedule in April, in both the Cup and the league. Will you play your first team or rotate?

We’ve only played one match in the Cup so far this year, a match in which we needed to win to move to the next stage. The fixture list has meant we’ve only had to rotate our lineup a bit. As for the upcoming matches, the fixture list is tight with a lot of games, which means there will be a lot of rotation.

You last played Spartak just a month ago, but a lot has changed since then. What are you expecting in this upcoming match?

I don’t think that anything has changed, our starting XI is the same, and Spartak’s is the same, nothing has changed really. There’s going to be just one match. It’s clear that they are one of our main rivals and this gives us extra motivation, for Spartak too. We are expecting a good game.

Who’s not available for the match with Spartak?

So far, everyone except Mario Fernandes is training. We are waiting for an update on Mario, and then it will be clear what his situation is. All the other players are training.

Regarding rotation, as you have two consecutive away matches with a short break, does who the opponent is matter when choosing the amount of rotation?

We will mostly focus on the condition of the players, perhaps some will play less as they need more rest to avoid injuries. We firstly look at the condition of our players.

Spartak havn’t scored a single goal in the league since the winter break, any comment on that?

We’re playing in the Cup, and they’ve looked quite good in that tournament, they beat Orenburg to get to the next level.  

As it’s a two-legged game will that allow you to rotate more in the first match?

I think yes. At least we have the option, will we use it? Let's see.