Inter Milan have the right attitude to win the Milan derby in Serie A on Saturday, coach Simone Inzaghi has said, with individual duels crucial for the result.
With three wins and one loss, third-placed Inter will enter the first derby of the season one point clear of champions Milan, sixth after two wins and two draws.
“(The derby) has to be played with a big personality, and my team has that,” Inzaghi told a press conference on Friday.
“The individual duels, which will be numerous, could be decisive.
Inter, who lost their first points in a 3-1 loss to Lazio last Friday, were aware things needed to improve and showed it in the 3-1 midweek win at home against Cremonese.
“When you concede goals you shouldn’t just look at what the defenders have done, but the whole team,” Inzaghi said.
“Against Cremonese it was an important (win) because we came from those three days when there was too much talk (about the loss to Rome) in my opinion. I wanted a reaction from the team and there was. had one.”
Striker Romelu Lukaku is sidelined with a thigh injury and defender Alessandro Bastoni is also doubtful for the derby.
“We hope Romelu will be back before the international break. It takes time, but the medical staff are working to get him back as soon as possible,” Inzaghi said.
“Bastoni wasn’t 100% fit before the game against Cremonese, but he made himself available to play. He will return to group training today.
“I will have to make a decision, because I will have to decide on the attacking partner of Lautaro (Martinez)… Joaquin Correa did very well (against Cremonese) and scored, while (striker Edin) Dzeko made a brilliant work.”
The Inter manager was also pleased with his team’s approach during the recent transfer window, where Inter retained key players while respecting the club’s financial situation.
Inter spent big at the end of the season, Lukaku, who is on loan from Chelsea, has already given their title hopes a major boost.
With the late addition of defender Francesco Acerbi on loan from Lazio while keeping Slovakia international Milan Skriniar despite interest from Paris St Germain, Inzaghi was happy with how things went for Inter.
“The club has done very well keeping important players and respecting the financial stakes that I have been experiencing since my arrival,” Inzaghi said.
“(Acerbi) has a lot of experience, he has already worked with me (at Lazio), he knows my methods… and will help me. He can play in the center and on the side, he can be important intermittently the pitch like (Andrea) Ranocchia was.”
Ranocchia was a mainstay at Inter for over 10 years before joining newly-promoted Monza in the transfer window.