Andrea Stramaccioni feels Inter’s do-or-die match with Lazio tomorrow is “the prelude to a rebirth. We are ready for battle,” but without Wesley Sneijder and Mauro Zarate.
The Nerazzurri can still qualify for the Champions League, but need a series of results to go their way as well as victory at the Olimpico.
“I think this is the prelude to a rebirth. The season remains negative, but this is the prelude to Lazio-Inter and also the hunger of the Nerazzurri people to become great again in Italy and Europe,” said the Coach.
However, he has to face this trip to Rome without Sneijder and has decided to drop Lazio-owned Zarate, while goalkeeper Julio Cesar is suspended.
“It will be an Inter side ready for battle. Wes had already picked up a problem yesterday, did some tests today and I didn’t want to risk him. I always wanted players who can give 101 per cent and sadly Sneijder won’t be in Rome with us.
“I left out Zarate as a technical choice, while Diego Forlan has the usual problem with his ankle. We’re missing some quality players, so it will be a different Inter. What is Zarate’s future? Ask the club...”
Stramaccioni was promoted from the Primavera youth team as a stopgap solution after Claudio Ranieri’s dismissal, but the 4-2 victory over Milan earned him confirmation for next season.
“I’d like Coutinho and Jonathan back at the club. I already said we saw a complete Inter in the derby, who were always attacking and kept the ball well. We ran very few risks, especially in the opening 35 minutes, which is even more impressive considering we were facing Milan in a crucial match for the Scudetto. The derby is behind us now, so we must focus on Lazio-Inter and then the future.
“We have said many times this has not been a positive campaign. We will fight to the last second to reach the Champions League. It is objectively a difficult ask, we know that, but all together we’re working to bring Inter back to the role of leaders in Italy. That includes me and the President, together.”
Inter squad:Castellazzi, Orlandoni, Di Gennaro; Cordoba, Zanetti, Lucio, Maicon, Ranocchia, Samuel, Faraoni, Juan Jesus, Nagatomo; Alvarez, Guarin, Poli, Cambiasso, Duncan, Crisetig, Pazzini, Milito, Longo
Think you know your Italian football? Share your knowledge, tips and comments to win cash prizes in OLBG's tipster competition - £5,000 monthly.