Oct 23rd 2021

The boss speaks to the press ahead of Inter v Juventus

APPIANO GENTILE – Simone Inzaghi sat down with the media on Saturday afternoon to preview Sunday's big match against Juventus. The Serie A Week 9 fixture kicks off at the Stadio San Siro at 20:45 CEST.

This is what the coach had to say:

Inter have the best attack in Serie A and Juventus haven't conceded a goal in their last four games. What do you think will  happen tomorrow?

“The league's only just started but it's a very important match between two excellent teams. We're playing in front of our fans and the players know what this game means to the club and the fans. We're going to have to produce a huge performance.”

Massimiliano Allegri said Inter are favourites for the title. What can this game tell us about that?

“It's nice to hear that Allegri rates us. I rate him very highly myself. I could say the same thing about Napoli, Roma, Lazio, AC Milan or Juventus. It's an exciting season and I know my team will do their best to make sure we're right up there.”

Last year this fixture marked something of a turning point in the season. Could the same thing happen tomorrow?

“It think it could. It's a very important match regardless of the three points on the line. We've spoken a lot about the Lazio game because the lads were really upset after what happened but we've decided that from now on no matter what happens we'll keep playing and only the ref will stop play. We needed to bounce straight back and we did that against Sheriff. We made it look easy when it wasn't at all easy, against a well-drilled team with great players who are dangerous on the break. Tomorrow is another big opportunity for us.”

Do you agree with what Edin Dzeko said about it being difficult for whoever loses to get back in it?

“A match like this can give you a boost that's worth more than three points. Juventus and Inter are historic rivals and we're aware of the significance of the match. We must turn it in our favour by playing our football and keeping our shape. Juventus have everyone fit again now and have picked up some good results so we must be very careful.”

There are lots of tactical considerations to bear in mind tomorrow. What makes you think Inter are ready for it?

“For a start, we've always held our shape well. We lost our first league game last Saturday – before then we'd only lost to Real Madrid – and we've always played well. We deserved a better result away to Sampdoria but we missed too many good chances. We've been doing well. Losing last Saturday has held us back in terms of the table but we've been playing some excellent football. Of course you must keep improving all the time and always try to play as a team.”

After the Sheriff match, you said you'd spend two days analysing things. What are your conclusions?

“We made a difficult game look easy, against the group leaders who had beaten Real Madrid and Shakhtar. We played really well. We knew it was a must-win match and we did lose our shape at times but normally it was because we were trying too hard and throwing numbers forward. That's something we've spent time working on because we're aware of the difficulties we're going to face tomorrow.”

How are Juventus different without Cristiano Ronaldo?

“Cristiano Ronaldo is a fantastic player but Juventus have lots of players who can hurt you – [Alvaro] Morata and [Paulo] Dybala for example, who weren't even available until two games ago. We have to focus on ourselves and on what we can do. We're going to have to run hard and play with grit and determination because we know what Inter v Juventus means.”

Do Inter perhaps need to improve their mentality in matches against direct rivals?

“Games against direct rivals are massively important not just for the points at stake but also for morale. A good result tomorrow could propel us forward.”

How's Arturo Vidal been looking in training? Do you think he could repeat his second-half display against Sheriff and show consistency?

“Vidal had a great game, which is what I was expecting from him and his team-mates. I'm trying to get everyone fit again. [Hakan] Calhanoglu and [Stefano] Sensi looked good in training yesterday. The only one who won't make it is [Joaquin] Correa but we'll try to have him back for Empoli. He's training separately to get himself ready for that one.”

Did you hear what Leonardo Bonucci said about last season's Scudetto? Has it had an effect in the dressing room?

“I haven't heard or read anything in the last 24 hours. I've been looking at Juventus' recent games, which show they're finding their stride and they've got all their players available again. That's what I'm focusing on, so that we can be at our very best against top-quality opponents.”

Ivan Perisic has been in sparkling form of late. What do you expect from him?

“Perisic is a fantastic, versatile, complete player. Last Saturday I asked him to help out in a different position because we were short on strikers and he did his best. He's an experienced player and a great option for us to have.”

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