Inter Milan coach Luciano Spalletti admits it won’t easy going up against Juventus, but he also views it as an ideal chance to assess his side’s progress
The Nerazzurri have won eight of their last 10 Serie A matches to move up to third in the Serie A table and 11 points adrift of leaders Juventus after a poor start to the season.
Now awaiting them will be the first Derby d’Italia of the 2018/19 campaign at the Allianz Stadium against the unbeaten Bianconeri.
Closing such a big gap in the standings is no mean feat, but Friday’s clash provides Inter with a chance to take three points out of their rivals.
And Spalletti is convinced his men can make life hard for Juventus if they work together as a team for the entire game.
“This match is a test in which we can evaluate our preparation and ability to aim high,” said Spalletti on the club website.
“Juventus have ability, strength and character, they’ve not always dominated in games but they know how to make the most of individual episodes, they know how to grind things out and they have a great mentality with leaders all over the pitch.
“We need to approach this match with courage and determination, without any arrogance but with conviction in our own ability.
“It will be a tough game. Juventus can go into it without any nerves because of how far ahead they are in the table but it’s on us to close the gap.
“Every year, the Bianconeri reinforce their squad by bringing in the best players from the Italian league: Higuain, Pjanic and Cancelo….Now, they’ve also added a great player in Cristiano Ronaldo.
“We need to take them on with character and personality. Recent games have given me a positive sign in this sense.
“We know that the overall attitude of the team is what can make the difference in the end, we can put them in difficulty if we’re a team for the full 90 minutes.”
The Juventus and Inter match will begin at 20:45 (CET) on Friday in Turin.