Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi has confirmed that wingback Juan Cuadrado and forward Alexis Sanchez are doubts to face Juventus.
Speaking in a press conference, as reported by FCInterNews, the coach also gave his thoughts on how the absence of European competition could help the Bianconeri in the Serie A title race.
Inter are just a day away from one of the decisive matches of their season.
The Nerazzurri travel to Turin to take on Juventus as first and second in the Serie A table respectively.
Given that just a couple points separate the Derby d’Italia rivals, whilst the other teams are further back, there is the feeling of a potential title-decider to tomorrow’s match.
And both coaches will want to put out their strongest squad possible.
Both Inzaghi and Allegri have some injuries to contend with.
For the Inter coach, defenders Benjamin Pavard and Alessandro Bastoni will certainly be absent.
But as far as two South American veterans, Inzaghi is less sure.
Inzaghi: Juan Cuadrado & Alexis Sanchez Doubts For Juventus Vs Inter
Inzaghi responded to a question about whether former Juventus and Chelsea wingback Cuadrado will be fit to face his old side the Bianconeri.
The 35-year-old has been out for weeks now with tendon problems.
“We will evaluate both he and Sanchez,” the coach said. “Who returned with an ankle sprain and was unable to train yesterday.”
“Cuadrado has never dealt with this type of an injury before,” Inzaghi noted.
“And his absence has been a blow for us, because he can be a major asset.”
“We’ll evaluate [their condition] after today’s training session,” Inzaghi said of the two players.
As far as the condition of the Italian internationals in the squad and captain Lautaro Martinez, Inzaghi said that “They’ve looked to be doing well to me.”
“Normally international breaks are a big test mentally and physically,” the Inter coach noted.
“But they’ve been doing well, and for the Azzurri players they’re happy with qualification.”
“Unfortunately we’ve lost Bastoni to injury,” he noted.
“And Lautaro and Sommer are happy with their successes during the break. Not so for Sanchez and Augusto, but they’ll have time to bounce back.”
Inzaghi also had little to say about the potential injury absence of key Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli tomorrow.
“I don’t know about him,” the Nerazzurri coach said. “You’ll have to ask Allegri.”
Inter Coach Says No European Football An Advantage For Juventus
As far as whether he expected Juventus to be in the hunt for the title as they have been, Inzaghi replied, “Absolutely, yes.”
“Juve are an excellent team with an excellent coach in Allegri,” he said.
“And as with Inter, they always want to win.”
The Inter coach noted that “Furthermore, everyone knows that it’s a huge advantage to be able to prepare for matches without Europe.”
“But we’re not hiding,” Inzaghi continued.
“On the contrary, it’s just further motivation for us to improve more and more every day.”
“We know that there have been moments where people have said Inter are the team to beat. And others where people say we’re weaker than last season.”
“But that always just changes based on the results of matches,” the Inter coach suggested.
As far as the significance of tomorrow’s match, Inzaghi predicted that “It won’t be a decisive match. But certainly a very, very important one.”
“And of course, tomorrow will only mark one-third of the season gone. There’s still a lot left to play.”
“And then of course we all know what Juventus against Inter represents,” the coach made clear.
Inzaghi: We’ll Play Our Football Away To Juventus
As far whether Inter will alter their approach or not due to playing away to in-form Juventus, Inzaghi made one clear.
“We will always try to play our football,” the coach said.
“Keeping in mind that we’ll be up against a team who are in great form. They keep compact and have top-class players who can decide the match at any moment.”
“We’ll need immense concentration for the entire 95 minutes,” the Inter coach stressed.
“These fixtures are always special,” Inzaghi added.
The coach looked back that “Last time we lost to them twice in the league.”
“In Turin my Inter played an excellent match in the first half,” he gave the view.
“But we failed to score. And then in the second half we lost our focus and the distances between the lines started to increase.”
“And that’s what we’ve focused on in training over the past few days,” he added.
And as far as the idea of signing for a draw, Inzaghi wouldn’t consider it.
“No, you can’t ever sign for a draw,” the coach argued.
“At least for me personally.”
“Unless it was a second leg after winning the first leg,” the coach noted.
“We know that we’ll have difficulties, as was the case in Bergamo recently, or the last time that we were in Turin, against Torino.”
“From now until December 23rd, we will have eight matches,” Inzaghi added.
“Three of the next four will be away to the top three teams in the league from last season, and then we also have the Champions League in between.”
And as far as whether he’d like to switch places with Juventus coach Maz Allegri, Inzaghi replied “No.”
“I’m sure they want to be in Europe, even if being out if it represents an advantage as we’ve seen so far this season.”