Simone Inzaghi admits that the game against José Mourinho’s Roma will be special for Nerazzurri fans, but insists it’s ‘no longer a derby’ for him.
The Italian tactician returns to Rome, where he coached Lazio for five years and a half.
“It’s always nice to return to Rome, especially for such an important game. It’s no longer a derby for me, I am totally focused on Inter and we know we’ll face a strong team,” Inzaghi said at a press conference.
Edin Dzeko is expected to start against his former club, but all eyes will be on José Mourinho, who meets Inter for the first time since he left the club in 2010, after winning the treble.
“It will be a pleasure to meet the coach of the Treble,” Inzaghi admitted.
“I’ve never met him nor known him, it will be a particular game for him, but we’ll need to be even more careful because we know his qualities and his history.
“It will be a special game for Edin [Dzeko] too, but we haven’t talked about it. He trained intensively over the last few days. He played well against Spezia when he was introduced, he wants to do well like everyone else.”
Mourinho will be without server players, including the suspended Tammy Abraham and Rick Karsdorp. However, Simone Inzaghi must also cope without several absentees.
Stefen de Vrij is the most prominent. The former Lazio defender is still recovering from an injury sustained during the last international duty and is in serious doubt for the match.
“We are still without Ranocchia and Darmian, De Vrij and Kolarov don’t have many chances, I think they’ll be available against Real Madrid or Cagliari,” Inzaghi said.
“Bastoni hasn’t got fever anymore but hasn’t trained with us yet. Some players picked up knocks here and there, so I’ll have to evaluate them.
“It’s not easy to play every three days, there should be more attention to the fixture list, by putting together international games in a single period. Us coaches need to adapt and we are doing it.
“The match against Roma will bethe most important of this cycle,” the former striker continued.
“We play against a strong team, with values. We’ll have to play a careful game, like the real Inter.
“We have given continuity to results, we’ve always put in good performances, but we had lost points for some incidents or penalty decisions. These things can happen in football, but you must make sure that things eventually go in your favour.”
Lautaro Martinez has scored three goals in the last three Serie A games against Napoli, Venezia and Spezia and his coach expects El Toro to continue like this.
“He must go on like this, he is very young. He can improve a lot more, I am very satisfied with him and the other strikers,” said Inzaghi.
“They are doing very well and help us defensively, he’s scored in three games in a row and I hope he will continue to do so.