Simone Inzaghi wary of Napoli as Inter bid for Supercoppa Italiana hat-trick

By Sports Desk January 21, 2024

Inter Milan head coach Simone Inzaghi is aware of the potential pitfalls facing his team in their Supercoppa Italiana final showdown with Napoli in Riyadh as the Nerazzurri look to make a statement with a mid-season trophy.

Inzaghi’s went into the weekend leading the Serie A table by two points from Juventus and they breezed into Monday’s cup tournament decider in the Saudi Arabian capital by dispatching Lazio 3-0 on Friday.

Standing in their way are Scudetto holders Napoli, who also won 3-0 – against Fiorentina – to give themselves a confidence boost with their league form desperately poor compared to their swashbuckling final season under Luciano Spalletti.

The more pragmatic Walter Mazzarri is now in charge of the Azzurri and there will be a definite clash of styles in Riyadh as attack-minded Inzaghi looks to secure Inter their eighth Super Cup and third in succession.

“A final is often decided in a few moments – you have to be very careful,” the Nerazzurri boss told inter.it. “We’re playing against the Italian champions who won 3-0 in their own semi-final.

“They’ve had some problems in the league but they have a lot of quality, with a deep squad.

“Napoli have changed their formation, before they were a possession team but now they are less so. If Mazzarri keeps his line-up from the semi-final then we’ll be ready for that. Beyond formation and tactics, though, motivation is vital.”

On Inter’s and his own fine record in the Super Cup – he has won five overall as player and coach – Inzaghi added: “Winning it three times in a row has only happened once before. We won it in a derby (against AC Milan) last year, two years ago against Juve, and now we would like to beat Napoli to it.

“I care more about Inter than my own record. It would be nice to win it of course. The boys have been putting Inter before their own interests since the summer and that’s the secret to a good team.”

Napoli boss Mazzarri hopes winning the Super Cup will give his players an incentive to revive their ailing domestic campaign and qualify for the Champions League.

He told La Gazzetta dello Sport: “This is a bunch of good young guys who need to understand that an opportunity like this might not happen again – and that should drive them on.

“I believe we will face an Inter team who are currently at their best. It will be very tough but, also for that reason, winning would give us even more confidence for the future.”

Jens Cajuste and Khvicha Kvaratskhelia are both suspended for Napoli, who are also missing star striker Victor Osimhen due to Africa Cup of Nations commitments.

Inter are in better shape with only Taty Castellanos sitting the fixture out due to injury.

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