FC Internazionale Milano captain Javier Zanetti promises his side will be adventurous and take the game to Liverpool FC when the teams meet at Anfield.
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FC Internazionale Milano captain Javier Zanetti promises his side will be adventurous and take the game to Liverpool FC when they meet in the UEFA Champions League first knockout round on Tuesday.
Inter play the first leg away from home but Zanetti rejects suggestions that the runaway Serie A leaders are likely to adopt a cautious approach at Anfield, claiming that going forward is perhaps their greatest strength. "We are not the kind of team who know how to sit back because that isn't our game – far from it," the defender said. "We are definitely equals [with Liverpool] in terms of ability so we have to go out not just to defend but also to attack and create chances, which we then have to put away, of course."
With goals in mind, Zanetti is happy to welcome Zlatan Ibrahimović back into the Inter attack, following his one-game suspension on Matchday 6 – the centre-forward is the competition's joint-top scorer with five. Argentinian international Zanetti said: "It goes without saying that he has had a huge impact for us. He is capable of doing extraordinary things and we hope he can continue this form. He is the kind of player who can score at any moment and can really make the difference."
Zanetti believes Liverpool's surprise 2-1 FA Cup defeat by Barnsley FC at the weekend will have no impact on Tuesday's showdown between two European football giants. "We have a tremendous amount of respect for Liverpool," the 34-year-old said. "We know we have two very difficult matches ahead of us, despite what happened to them on Saturday. That means absolutely nothing and this will be a huge game between two massive clubs with a great deal of history.
"Matches are always difficult and at this level in the Champions League you cannot afford to make any mistakes whatsoever," Zanetti went on. "We are going to be playing in a wonderful stadium with an excellent atmosphere and a lot of support for Liverpool, so it will be a tough challenge for us. We know Liverpool are very strong at home and we have to be really careful, keeping a very close eye on everything they do. But by the same token, we're intent on ensuring we play our own game in the way we want to."