Simone Inzaghi said Tuesday that Inter’s recent displays give him faith his team can cause an upset against Liverpool despite results not going their way.
Inter ceded the Serie A summit to local rivals Milan at the weekend after a painful derby defeat was followed by Saturday’s 1-1 draw at fellow title rivals Napoli.
However Inzaghi saw enough in those two matches to give him the belief Inter can trouble the Reds when they come to the San Siro for Wednesday’s first leg of their Champions League last 16 tie.
“On paper Liverpool are favourites… We know, and I’ve told the boys, that we need to go out there and play our game free from worry,” Inzaghi told reporters.
“In this type of match the level of determination will make the difference, and the boys have shown throughout the season that they have plenty of it.
“In the second half (at Napoli) we went out there with a great spirit and huge desire to not lose. That second half gives me faith for the match tomorrow… We respect them but we’re not starting the game already beaten.”
He says he is undecided as to who he will play up front between Edin Dzeko, Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez as apart from the suspended Nicolo Barella he has an almost full squad to pick from.
“All three have the same chance of starting, I’ll decide after tomorrow’s work,” said Inzaghi, who added he would start with a front two and bring on the third during the match.
Liverpool have already played at the San Siro this season, a second-string team dumping Milan out of Europe in a match which seemed to highlight the gap between England’s top teams and Italy’s, who Juventus aside have struggled to make a mark in the Champions League in recent years.
Inter themselves are in the competition’s knockout rounds for the first time since 2012 having failed to get out of the group twice under Antonio Conte, and Inzaghi doesn’t deny that the team have a serious task to make the last eight.
“We saw those two matches (with Milan) and we’ve watched Liverpool’s more recent matches. Liverpool have great players all over the pitch, with a deep squad and a great manager,” said Inzaghi.
“When you lose the ball they can come straight at you at any moment. They have Alisson and (Virgil) van Dijk who are capable of making long, precise passes, their full-backs have really refined technique as if they were playmakers. They can cause problems for you in every area of the pitch.”