Romelu Lukaku should be available for Inter Milan’s Champions League clash with Viktoria Plzen which could seal the Italians’ place in the last 16, coach Simone Inzaghi said on Tuesday.
Lukaku has been out with a thigh injury for two months but Inzaghi said Belgium forward should be on the bench at the San Siro, where a win will guarantee Inter’s passage to the knockout stages.
“If Lukaku confirms what we have seen in training yesterday and recent days he will be in the squad, he has been working with a lot of enthusiasm and desire,” Inzaghi told reporters.
“We still have today’s training to go, but he is clearly on his way back. he’s a hugely important player for us who has been out for two months. He’s been a big loss.”
Lukaku’s return is also good news for Belgium coach Roberto Martinez with the Red Devils’ opening World Cup fixture against Canada just under a month away.
Inter can qualify from Group C on Wednesday evening thanks in large part to the four points they took from their two previous matches against Barcelona.
Inzaghi’s team sit second in the group and leads the Catalans by three points with two games remaining after beating them at the San Siro and then drawing a thrilling encounter 3-3 at Camp Nou a fortnight ago.
Having the better of head-to-head record between the two teams would decide final placings in Inter’s favour should the pair finish level on points.
Inter take to the field in one of two early kick-offs on Wednesday and will eliminate Barca, who host group leaders Bayern Munich if they claim the three points as expected.
However, even if they fail to win they will still go into the last 16 draws on November 7 if Barca doesn’t better Inter’s result.