Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Home Sport Football

Simone Inzaghi: Lazio will not be distracted by weekend Rome derby

The Italians won the first leg 4-2 in Rome,

Lazio manager Simone Inzaghi insists his side remain fully focused on the Europa League quarter-final second leg against Red Bull Salzburg despite the upcoming Rome derby.

The Italians remain favourites to progress having won the first leg 4-2 in Rome, and particularly with their city rivals in such fine form – as was demonstrated by them eliminating Barcelona from the Champions League – there could be a risk of distraction.

Inzaghi, 42, instead insists he will pick a full-strength team for the return in Austria and he said in quotes published by Football Italia: “Squad rotation would mean thinking of the derby. But right now the one and only fixture that exists for us is Salzburg.

“We know that this is going to be a very difficult match and we must approach it in the right way.

“Salzburg are an excellent side, they’ll do everything to make life difficult for us. I am confident, as we prepared in the best way.

“I called up 20 players and all of them can be used. I can confirm Stefan Radu and Marco Parolo will start, but I’ll have to evaluate the various situations.

“We could see Luis Alberto and Felipe Anderson together, just one, or neither of them in the starting XI. The only one with a fitness issue is Senad Lulic, but he ought to be ready.

“I want to field the team that gives me the most guarantees without thinking about Sunday. We are focused only on Salzburg and entering a very important Europa League semi-final.”

One-time Lazio striker Inzaghi added of Roma’s 3-0 victory over Barca: “I compliment Roma for that game and it proves that these ties are played over 180 minutes, so even with an important first-leg advantage, it can change completely.

“We are ready, but need another great performance to reach the semi-finals.”

Salzburg coach Marco Rose added: “We prepared several changes compared to the first leg.

“After playing with a 3-5-2 formation, we now want to try something different. We worked out new methods to escape pressing and break into spaces, so we hope to cause Lazio more problems.

“Do you really think Lazio won’t give their best or try to go all the way in the Europa League? That they won’t try to win a European trophy and gain automatic Champions League qualification?

“I’ve no idea if the derby is more important to them than our game and I don’t care either.”

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph