Spartak regroup for Arsenal after St Petersburg flop

Pic: AFP

Coach Massimo Carrera has taken an analytical approach to helping Spartak Moscow bounce back from their 5-1 thrashing at Zenit St Petersburg when they tackle Arsenal Tula on Wednesday.

Sunday's slump left champions Spartak 10th in the Russian Premier League table, seven points behind co-leaders Zenit and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Carrera, who blamed individual errors for their Saint Petersburg humbling, told his men to put that slip-up behind them.

"I think it's much better to lose one game 5-0 than to suffer five 1-0 defeats," he told Spartak's official website.

"But after you've conceded five goals you should analyse the reasons for such a defeat, to draw the right conclusions and avoid it in the future.

"Now we need to prepare for the next league game. Hopefully, we will manage to perform much better on Wednesday."

Zenit take their perfect start to Ural Yekaterinburg in midweek.

But Roberto Mancini's side, who top the table on goal difference with 12 points from four matches, are not taking eighth-placed Ural lightly.

"On Sunday we played very well against the team that won the title last year," Zenit press service quoted Mancini as saying.

"Now we have four out of four and naturally we want to continue going that way.

"But currently we have a very busy schedule. We play twice a week and need to stay completely focused in every single match to achieve success both in the domestic and Europa leagues."

Lokomotiv have a tough test away to Rubin Kazan on Wednesday.

"We won a very difficult match against SKA Khabarovsk and I'm pleased with my player's performance, especially in the second half," Lokomotiv head coach Yury Semin said. "But I expect an even harder trial for my team in the upcoming game at Kazan.

"Rubin are on the rise. They beat CSKA in Moscow at the weekend and I expect it will be really tough against them at their home turf where they will enjoy the feverish support of their fans."