Inter Coach Simone Inzaghi: “Andrea Ranocchia Will Have A Great Game Against Napoli”

Inter Coach Simone Inzaghi: “Andrea Ranocchia Will Have A Great Game Against Napoli”
November 20, 2021 14:00
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Inter coach Simone Inzaghi has confirmed that Andrea Ranocchia will replace the injured Stefan De Vrij in tomorrow’s clash against Napoli and is confident he will impress.

The Nerazzurri face the Serie A league leaders at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza as they look to close the seven point gap at the top, but will be without centre-back De Vrij after an injury on international duty last weekend.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, and as reported by, Inzaghi revealed that he would turn to Ranocchia at the heart of defence and issued a vote of confidence to the 33-year-old.

“After the international matches we have always had some problems. Tomorrow if things do not change, Ranocchia will play. He is very reliable, he has been here at Inter for many years. He will have a great game and will not make us miss De Vrij,” Inzaghi declared.

“We know it will be very important match, as it was against AC Milan. The best attack and the best defence will face each other, it will be a match where courage and motivation will make the difference.”

With Inter looking to retain their Serie A title, the former Lazio coach admitted that it was a pivotal encounter in the season but felt Inter were not far off their best, and deserved more points than the 25 they had earned so far.

“I think it will be very important, we have had an excellent journey. We are an important team in the league and in the Champions League. In Serie A we have two points less than last year, but we have played more away games and we know what help it gives you to play in front of your fans,” he continued.

“Milan and Napoli are setting a great pace, but we know that against Atalanta, Juventus and Milan we deserved more than we got. We have to do more in the head-to-head matches though, starting tomorrow.

“We need to address these matches in the best possible way. In terms of numbers and statistics we are in a very good situation. In direct matches we would have deserved more but there has always been a penalty given or not given wrongly.

“We need to give more but I am proud of the guys who are offering me so much. I am proud of the choice to come to Inter, I knew that after sales in the transfer window it would be a year of transition and instead we are competitive in everything. I have the club always by my side and we have some fans who are the extra man for us.”

Inter endured a difficult international break, with Alessandro Bastoni, Edin Dzeko, and Alexis Sanchez picking up knocks in addition to De Vrij.

“Before the international break we were at full strength, now we had some problems with Dzeko and Bastoni, we lost De Vrij and Sanchez. My focus is on Napoli, knowing that there is another important match on Wednesday (against Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League). We have some problems, we’ll see what we can do between today and tomorrow.”

The former Lazio tactician was keen to praise opposite number Luciano Spalletti for his work in guiding Napoli to top spot, whilst also mentioning predecessor Gennaro Gattuso.

“We know that Spalletti has always done well, it is an added value. Napoli are an excellent team, the club have kept the best players who can make a difference. He is doing very well and Spalletti is continuing the work of Gattuso, who had also been excellent.”

Striker Lautaro Martinez is on a lengthy goal drought and missed a penalty in the Derby della Madonnina against Milan, but Inzaghi backed him to rediscover his form, whilst also revealing who would take spot kicks should they be awarded against Napoli.

“Forwards go through these moments. They happened to me, to my brother. Luckily, Ciro Immobile had very few (at Lazio). Lautaro is 100% in the project, and in my opinion a striker has to worry when he doesn’t get chances. He has had several, including in the derby. He has to work as he is doing and believe in his potential, then the goals will come.

“As far as the penalty takers are concerned, let’s see who is on the pitch. The list is Lautaro, Hakan Calhanoglu and Ivan Perisic. Lautaro always taken them well in training and he won us the game against Sassuolo. [Ciprian] Tatarusanu also pulled off a very good save for Milan. We will prepare for the event today and tomorrow,” Inzaghi added.

However, the coach refused to be drawn on criticism of the officiating in Serie A this season and preferred to focus on his own team.

“We must not complain because we are lucky, I have been playing in Europe for many years. We are wrong, they are wrong. Also on the Sunday at the end of the game against Milan, I congratulated the officials because there was a derby with only one yellow card. The referee was very good, we are lucky.”

Midfielder Calhanoglu has struggled to replicate his statistics since leaving Milan for Inter in the summer, but Inzaghi was quick to defend him.

“I think he has had a good season so far. He is a player of quality and quantity. I think played a great game in the derby and against Juventus. He must go on believing in his ability. With our form he plays a little deeper but he has to continue as he is doing. We are happy to have him.”

Amidst talk of a new stadium for both Inter and Milan, the coach felt that the San Siro was important to both clubs but a new ground was an opportunity for the clubs.

“Playing at San Siro is a great emotion, but if the new stadium comes it will be a reason for development for Inter and Milan,” he declared.

Finally, Inzaghi touched on midfielder Marcelo Brozovic’s contract situation, with the Croatia international into the final year of his existing deal.

“Brozovic is a great footballer and has been here for many years. I’m lucky enough to have (directors) Beppe Marotta, Piero Ausilio and Dario Baccin who are here every day and treat them personally. They know my thoughts on Marcelo,” Inzaghi concluded.

By Suhayl Al-Sammari

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