Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi believes that midfielder Kristjan Asllani will be ready to play against Real Sociedad tomorrow.
Speaking in a press conference ahead of tomorrow evening’s Champions League group stage opener, as reported by FCInterNews, the Nerazzurri coach confirmed that the Albanian could well be in the lineup in the absence of the injured Hakan Calhanoglu.
Inter midfielder Calhanoglu will not be in the squad for tomorrow evening’s match.
The 29-year-old did not travel with the Nerazzurri to San Sebastian. The reason is a muscle problem in the player’s thigh, although reports suggest that it is not overly serious.
Calhanoglu’s absence could present a real headache to Inter coach Inzaghi.
The former AC Milan midfielder has been a key player at the heart of the Nerazzurri’s midfield.
But there is a like-for-like backup for Calhanoglu in Inter’s squad, in the form of 21-year-old former Empoli midfielder Asllani.
Reports suggest that Inzaghi will consider between the Albanian or starting Henrikh Mkhitaryan in Calhanoglu’s customary deep-lying position against La Real tomorrow.
Inzaghi Confirms Kristjan Asllani Ready To Play Vs Real Sociedad
Inzaghi called Calhanoglu “”A big miss for us. Cuadrado also won’t be available.”
“We have a lot of matches close together, so we’ll make some changes,” the coach said of rotating his squad.
“We have Asllani, who wa lot of teams asked for in the summer,” the coach noted. “But we decided to keep him, because we believe in him”
Asked if Asllani could play, Inzaghi replied “Yes. He’s already played in big matches.”
“He’s ready to play tomorrow, like the other players in the team,” the coach made clear.
“I’ll make my decision on whether or not he starts tomorrow after, the initial warm-ups,” Inzaghi said.
After the 5-1 derby win over AC Milan, Inzaghi says that “We watched it back. Both in the things we did well and in the things we didn’t.”
“As is often the case in football, that’s in the past now, and only Real Sociedad matters now. We know that will be a difficult match.”
Asked if he thinks Inter are stronger and more mature compared to last season, Inzaghi responded “Certainly. Not only compared to last season, but also from the one before it.”
“We had two great seasons in the Champions League,” he continued.
The coach noted that “The last Champions League left us with something special.”
“The way that our fans embraced us after was something that we won’t easily forget,” Inzaghi continued.
“Like with the matches with Benfica or Milan.”
“We know that we’ve won four matches so far. Now we’re on to the group stage, though, and we know that we can make it through if we work hard.”
Inzaghi Praises Real Sociedad: “Organized Team”
The Inter coach also gave his thoughts on tomorrow’s opposition.
“They’re a very organized team,” he said of La Real. “They have players who have been there for many years.”
“We also saw them last season against Roma,” he continued.
“Against Real Madrid, they changed their system, and we saw that they had players of enormous quality. We’ll need a top match against them.”
And asked whether a draw would be a good result, Inzaghi replied that “We can’t talk about the result now.”
Inzaghi made clear that “We know that it will be an intense and difficult match against a top-quality, technically gifted team.”