Inzaghi hails Lukaku displays and backs Inter striker to hit top form ahead of Lazio trip

By Sports Desk August 25, 2022

Simone Inzaghi praised Romelu Lukaku's contribution since he returned to Inter on loan from Chelsea, as he backed the Belgian striker to hit top form sooner rather than later ahead of their trip to Lazio.

Inter have made a perfect start to their Serie A title bid, following up a last-gasp win at Lecce on the opening day by beating Spezia 3-0 last time out.

Lukaku, who fired the Nerazzurri to the Scudetto in 2020-21 with 24 league goals before heading to Chelsea, needed just 82 seconds to find the net when making his second Inter debut at Lecce.

While the Belgian then failed to score in Inter's routine win at San Siro last weekend, Inzaghi was content with his display and believes it will not be long until he is scoring regularly once more.

"I think he did the first two games in the best way. It is not a matter that concerns only Romelu, but the whole team," Inzaghi said at a pre-match press conference.

"We know that the condition is improving, we know we have players with important physicality and therefore we knew we needed some important games. 

"We started quite well, we want to continue trying to improve all our players, including Lukaku. 

"We also want to recover [Henrikh] Mkhitaryan, who will be very important, there will be 19 games in a row before a stop [for the World Cup]. We will have to try to have all the players available. Tomorrow everyone travels except Henrikh."

 

Lukaku scored 47 goals in 72 Serie A appearances in his first spell at Inter. Only Cristiano Ronaldo (60 goals in 66 appearances) and Ciro Immobile (56 in 72 games) outscored him in the competition during that time.

Lukaku's return has raised hopes that Inter could reclaim the Serie A title this season, but holding onto defender Milan Skriniar, who was strongly linked with Paris Saint-Germain, could prove just as important.

While Skriniar struggled with a muscle injury during pre-season, Inzaghi is pleased with the Slovakia international's progress, adding: "I see him very well, concentrated, attentive. 

"There was a problem at the beginning of the preparation, it came from an injury with the national team, something new for him because he had never skipped a training session in the last years. 

"Instead, this time he slowed down for 40 or 45 days and his condition is growing."

Inzaghi suffered his first league defeat as Inter boss when visiting former club Lazio in October last year, with Immobile on the scoresheet.

And while Inzaghi still enjoys a close bond with last season's Serie A top goalscorer, he is not enthused by the prospect of facing the Italy international on Friday.

"A great affection binds me to him, he made very important seasons with me, he did it again last year with [Maurizio] Sarri," he added. 

"I know it's a special game for everyone, we all care about it. I hope Ciro always scores, but maybe tomorrow he rests!"

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    Argentina are a 44.2 per cent chance to emerge victorious and progress to the semi-finals, according to Stats Perform's AI computer.

    The Netherlands are rated at 27.1 per cent chance with a draw coming in at 28.7 per cent.

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