Simone Inzaghi is not concerned about Lautaro Martinez’s goal drought and reveals Andrea Ranocchia will replace Stefan de Vrij against Napoli.
The Nerazzurri host joint-Serie A leaders Napoli at San Siro tomorrow.
It kicks off at 17.00 UK time.
Inter sit third in the table, seven points behind the Partenopei and Milan.
“We certainly know that it will be a very important game, as the derby against Milan. It’s important for the table and a game between the best attack and the best defence in the league. Courage and motivation will make the difference,” Inter coach Inzaghi said at a press conference.
“We deserved more against Juventus, Atalanta and Milan but we collected three draws, meaning we need to do more against direct opponents.
“I am proud of this team, the lads are giving their all, we are competitive despite the sales that we had to do in the summer.”
Inzaghi must cope without Alexis Sanchez and Stefan de Vrij, who sustained injuries during the international break.
“We lost Sanchez and De Vrij, Dzeko and Bastoni had a few problems too,” said Inzaghi.
“Ranocchia is a reliable player and he will play a great game tomorrow.
“Now, we must focus on Napoli, knowing that we have one more challenge against Shakhtar on Wednesday.”
Luciano Spalletti will meet Inter for the first time since the Nerazzurri sacked him in 2019. The Tuscan tactician hopes Inter fans won’t boo him and Inzaghi heaped praise on his counterpart.
“We know that Spalletti has done well everywhere. He is an excellent coach and an added value for his teams,” the Inter coach claimed.
“Even the club [Napoli] were good at keeping their best players. There were rumours about Koulibaly and Fabian Ruiz, but they remained. Spalletti is continuing the excellent job of Gattuso.”
Lautaro Martinez hasn’t scored a goal for more than a month.
The Argentinean striker has recently extended his contract with the Nerazzurri, but he netted his last goal in an away clash against Sassuolo on October 2.
However, Inzaghi doesn’t seem too worried about the striker’s recent form.
“I think that it’s normal for strikers to go through these moments. My brother and I went through the same, but also Immobile at Lazio,” he said.
“Strikers must be worried when they don’t have opportunities to score. Lautaro had some and he must only work as he is doing right now. He believes in his potential and he will score again as he’s always done.”
Will Lautaro take a penalty kick if there is one?
“Depends on who is on the pitch. Lautaro scored against Sassuolo and missed one in the derby, but Tatarusanu deserves praise for saving it,” Inzaghi explained.