Inter’s Simone Inzaghi hopes for familiar result in new-look Supercoppa Italiana

By Sports Desk January 18, 2024

Simone Inzaghi has challenged his Inter Milan players to lift the Supercoppa Italiana for a third straight season as they take on the new format for the first time.

The competition has been expanded to four teams, with the runners-up from both Serie A and the Coppa Italia added to the mix.

With all games being played in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Coppa Italia holders Inter will face Serie A runners-up Lazio on Friday, with the winner advancing to play either league champions Napoli or cup runners-up Fiorentina.

“The Supercoppa is the first objective of the season,” Inzaghi said. “Inter won it in the last two years and we want to win it again. We’ll do our best.

“We have another training session and I need to make careful assessments (on the squad). Everyone was available yesterday, except (Juan) Cuadrado. I have to make decisions, being a final played over two legs.

“Now, I am only thinking about the Lazio game. I am serene, Inter have the same ambitions as Lazio, Napoli and Fiorentina. Tomorrow, we meet an undefeated team in the last five, and it has always caused trouble for us.”

Lautaro Martinez scored a brace in Inter’s 5-1 Serie A win over Monza last weekend, moving to 20 goals in all competitions for the season.

But while the Argentinian has been in sparkling form, Inter have been linked with a striker in the January window – something Inzaghi would not be drawn on.

“We have a club behind us that is thinking about it,” he said. “I am satisfied with my four strikers in the first part of the season, they are giving us great satisfaction.”

Leading the line for Lazio will be veteran forward Ciro Immobile. The 33-year-old was linked with making Saudi Arabia his permanent home last summer, but asked on Thursday if he would still be interested in joining the Saudi Pro League, he said he was fully focused on Lazio.

“(Saudi Arabia) is developing as a league, infrastructures are improving compared to 2019,” Immobile said.

“Now, everyone has their eyes set on Saudi Arabia and believes there will be an important league here in the future. I spoke to local clubs in the past, but nothing happened in the end. I’ve always tried to be as transparent as possible and I decided to stay at Lazio and carry the project forward.”

Immobile was a late substitute in Lazio’s 1-0 win over Lecce as he comes back from injury.

“We feel the weight of the game,” he added. “It’s a trophy with two finals that are played within three days. There is little time to prepare for all matches. We are proud and happy with what we did last season and want to enjoy this moment.

“I was sidelined for three weeks, but playing 15 minutes against Lecce was important. I’ve had the chance to train and work to return to the top. We only lacked consistency, but the team has always worked well. Sometimes things didn’t work, but we’ve been improving.”

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