Soccer-Inzaghi relishing first Mourinho meeting as Inter head to Rome

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Group D - Inter Milan v Shakhtar Donetsk - San Siro, Milan, Italy - November 24, 2021 Inter Milan coach Simone Inzaghi REUTERS/Daniele Mascolo

MILAN (Reuters) - Jose Mourinho's career speaks for itself and in-form Inter Milan will have to be at their best to beat the Portuguese manager's AS Roma side, Nerazzurri coach Simone Inzaghi said on Friday.

Italian champions Inter are unbeaten in 10 matches in all competitions ahead of Saturday's trip to Rome, a run that has propelled the third-placed side to within two points of Serie A leaders Napoli.

Mourinho is a celebrated figure at Inter for leading the club to an unprecedented Champions League, Serie A and Coppa Italia treble in 2010, but his Roma side head into the game on the back of three defeats in their last five league outings.

"It will be a pleasure to meet the coach who won the treble, we have never met or faced each other," Inzaghi told a news conference.

"It will be special for him to face Inter. His career speaks for itself, he is a great."

The fixture will also have special significance for Inzaghi, who led Roma's cross-city rivals Lazio for more than five years before taking the Inter job in the off-season.

"It is no longer a derby for me, I have immersed myself 100% in this new challenge called Inter. But you need to show a lot of character when you play at the Stadio Olimpico," Inzaghi said.

"This is the most important match for us in this run of fixtures. They have great quality, so we will need to see the true Inter."

Inzaghi revealed that Inter's defensive crisis has not eased much, with Matteo Darmian, Andrea Ranocchia, Aleksander Kolarov and Stefan de Vrij carrying injuries while Alessandro Bastoni only just recovered from illness.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie; Editing by Rohith Nair)

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