'No fear' of City in Champions League final, says Inter's Inzaghi
Inter Milan's Italian head coach Simone Inzaghi supervises a training session on June 5, 2023 at the club's training ground in Appiano Gentile, north of Milan, as part of a Media Day, five days ahead of Inter Milan's UEFA Champions League final against Manchester City. (Photo by GABRIEL BOUYS / AFP)

APPIANO GENTILE, Italy (AFP)— Simone Inzaghi said Monday that Inter Milan are not scared of Manchester City as he prepares his team for the Champions League final against the mega-rich, treble-hunting outfit.

Inter will contest in Istanbul their first Champions League final since last winning the competition 13 years ago, but City are heavy favourites to be crowned kings of Europe for the first time.

Pep Guardiola's City are in their second Champions League final in three years and come into Saturday's clash after destroying Real Madrid in the last four, and winning both the Premier League and FA Cup.

"We're talking about a football match, there's no fear," Inzaghi told reporters.

"We have a lot of respect but we're proud to play this final because we wanted it with every fibre of our being."

Inter will have to stop a potent City attack led by striker Erling Haaland who has netted 12 times in Europe this season and will top the competition's scoring charts whatever happens in Turkey.

Alessandro Bastoni is one Inter's three central defenders who will be tasked with keeping tabs on Haaland, and he said he was unconcerned about the prospect of locking horns with the powerful Norwegian.

"You are scared of murderers, not football players. It would be a mistake to to talk about fear," he said.

"It's not Haaland versus Inter it's Manchester City versus Inter.

"There's no fear, just the right level of tension. More than anything there is happiness... I can't wait to get out on the pitch."

Inzaghi added that he hasn't yet decided who will partner Lautaro Martinez in Inter's attack as he ponders whether to play veteran Edin Dzeko or in-form Romelu Lukaku.

Belgian striker Lukaku has turned his season around since April and is once again the all-action centre forward who conquered the Serie A title and Inter fans' hearts two years ago.

Lukaku has scored seven times and set up five more in his last 11 matches, form which could yet put him in Inter's starting XI in Istanbul despite former City forward Dzeko being Inzaghi's regular starter.

"I haven't decided in attack, in midfield or in defence because right now, as in last two months or so, I have the possibility of choosing. That's the best thing as a coach," said Inzaghi.

"We still have four training sessions before Istanbul... if there's one thing I've learned coaches have doubts right up to the final minute."

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