Inter without Lukaku for Barca test, says Conte

AFP , Tuesday 1 Oct 2019

Inter Milan's Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku acknowledges the public as he leaves the pitch for substitution during the Italian Serie A football match Inter vs Lazio on September 25, 2019 AFP

Romelu Lukaku has sustained a thigh injury and will miss Inter Milan's Champions League group game against Barcelona on Wednesday, coach Antonio Conte confirmed.

Lukaku was substituted in the second half of Inter's 3-1 win over Sampdoria on Saturday and Conte revealed on Tuesday that the striker has not travelled to Camp Nou.

Inter, who sit top of Serie A, play at home to defending champions Juventus on Sunday.

"We do not have Lukaku because he has a minor injury, a thigh injury," said Conte in a press conference.

"He has been carrying it for a while and he has not travelled. He was struggling so he had tests.

"The medical staff said there is nothing serious but it is a minor injury. We are optimistic he will be okay soon."

Inter drew their opening group game with Slavia Prague 1-1 while Barcelona were held to a stalemate away at Borussia Dortmund.

In eight Champions League meetings, Inter have beaten Barca only once and never away from home.

"Everyone prepares to win. No-one plays for a draw or for damage limitation," Conte said.

"That would go against what I believe in. We have started a project here, which means giving our all and we need to do that tomorrow. Inter are on the right track.

"We cannot be afraid, we have to take the initiative. Our first chance, we have to take it. We have to play our own game and then see what happens. That is the way forward."

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