Spalletti: Gap not so big…

Spalletti: Gap not so big…

Luciano Spalletti claims the distance ‘will not be so big’ when Inter and Juventus face off in the Derby d’Italia on Saturday.

Juve have lifted eight straight Scudetti and lead Inter by 26 points going into the showdown at San Siro, while the Nerazzurri have won just two derbies against the Old Lady since 2013.

“This is the game: it’s been talked about all year round in bars, offices, on holiday,” Spalletti said at a Press conference.

“These two teams represent the opposite poles of passion in football. It’s crucial for us to do well in these games so we can reduce the gap.

“Only football can make the difference, as well as going and getting great champions. It’s easier to coach a big side, but you must also create a character on the pitch.

“It’s not just the team that reduce gaps, but also the fact that the general level [of teams] rises.

“Even if the table doesn’t say this, I see an improvement in our League, with many young Coaches who give importance to how football is played.

“In head-on clashes like these, the distances aren’t so big so we’re confident. We need to stay balanced and avoid being countered.

“They’ll welcome us in their half of the pitch and then play at speed.”

The Coach was then asked about the return of Marcelo Brozovic and Lautaro Martinez’s importance to the side.

“The quality of set-pieces will count and, in this sense, Brozovic’s return is important,” he added.

“Even when he was missing, we did well. Brozo makes the ball work. I’d like to see the data for how far and how quick his chips are.

“As soon as you think you’re safe, you’re taking risks. We have tough matches ahead of us, but we can also win them all.

“Lautaro’s grown and played more. He’s ready, he knows how to take responsibility and Inter need characters.

“I don’t know if he’ll play tomorrow, but everyone is available and they’ve all trained well.

“I have to give my best, the club are right to go looking for the best for Inter. If that also involves my future then fine, if it’s for the good of Inter.

“We’ve shown quality in possession, conceded only a few goals, had away wins and had only one player sent off – a sign of excellent conduct.”

Mauro Icardi has been linked with a summer switch to Juve, but is the former Roma boss taking any notice?

“I don’t know what will happen at the end of the season,” he concluded.

“Few things bother me, but the things that bother me bother others more. I’m calm.”

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