Simone Inzaghi said on Tuesday that he wants Inter Milan to end the Italian side’s horror against Porto as they prepare to host the Portuguese in the first leg of their leg. Champions League tie last 16.
Inter are hoping to reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2011 but will have to overcome a bogey team for the Serie A club led by Inzaghi’s former teammate Lazio Sergio Conceicao.
Porto have knocked out six Italian clubs in European competition in the last two decades, most recently finishing a point above. AC Milan in the Champions League group last season and got the Europa League place.
Inzaghi and Conceicao won the league and cup double in 2000 with Lazio, as well as the 1999 European Super Cup, and since the retirement of the players both have enjoyed successful managerial careers.
“He (Conceicao) is doing very well at the moment, his team is playing a physical and technical game,” Inzaghi told reporters.
“Porto is a very good team, they won 10 games in a row, with only two goals.
“In recent years, they have done very well against Italian teams, against Milan last season, Roma, Lazio and Juventus. Let’s hope we can turn the tide.”
Inter are in the knockout stages after qualifying from a group that includes the current leaders of La Liga and the Bundesliga.
They took four points from Barcelona to move into second place behind Bayern Munich who won their Group C games.
“We have come to this game with a lot of confidence because we arrived here in an amazing way; on paper Barcelona and Bayern Munich are the teams that everyone wanted to avoid,” he said. of Inzaghi.
“You can see what Barca is doing now against Real Madrid who have just been crowned world champions and we know what Bayern mean. Now that we are here, we really want it and we’re going to deliver.”
Conceicao does not want Wednesday’s game to be reduced to showing such teams, in a battle between him and Inzaghi.
“Inter and Porto are two big clubs with a lot of history,” he said.
“It’s nice to see Simone again, we were together in Rome where we won big trophies for Lazio, but now that we’re on different paths, we’re doing a much more difficult job but it’s just as interesting.
“It will be a tough game against a team that has lost one in three months.”
Porto are in good form, winning the Portuguese League Cup and cutting the league lead to Benfica by five points, but are missing a number of players with injuries ahead of their trip to San Siro.
“As our coach said we are stronger as a team even without important players we need to continue our style, high intensity and the confidence of getting the the ball,” said Serbia Midfielder Marko Grujic.
“We don’t know who will be ready and who is not ready but we have to be ready”.
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