Icardi 'more than ready' to face Milan – Spalletti

Inter striker Mauro Icardi is fit to face Milan in the derby on Sunday, according to coach Luciano Spalletti.

Inter striker Mauro Icardi   -  Getty Images

Luciano Spalletti confirmed Mauro Icardi will line up against Inter's fierce rivals AC Milan as he chases his 100th Serie A goal on Sunday.

A knee injury has prevented the Argentine striker from starting a game for Inter since their 1-1 draw with SPAL on January 28 but Spalletti's men managed two wins from four games without their most potent goal threat.

Fourth-placed Inter are seven points and three places above Milan in the Serie A table, and victory on Sunday could see them leapfrog Lazio into third place.

The return of Icardi, who has 18 league goals this season, comes as a significant boost.

"Icardi is not just ready, he's more than ready," Spalletti told a pre-match media conference.

"The derby brings special sensations to those who are strong. The points say we are ahead of Milan and in order to earn those points, we must've put in strong performances.

"The most difficult thing will be to play and take the game to them with our qualities."

A run of seven winless league games in December and January tarnished Inter's hopes of mounting a title challenge, but two wins from their last three has left Spalletti in determined mood to see out the season with a run of form.

"If we want to qualify for the Champions League, we can't wait or allow slip-ups," he said.

"It's time to take responsibility. That period of ups and downs that happens to everyone is no longer allowed.

"I'll go and ask the players to show their ruthless face from now on. If we think too much about what comes later, we'll lose sight of the present."

Revived by coach Gennaro Gattuso, Milan are unbeaten in all competitions since December 23 and Spalletti said he understood the significance of the fixture.

"This match is vital for our future," he said.

"We know that Milan have a strong side, they're getting back to being the Milan that we all expected to see. We'll go and take them on convinced that we have just as much quality.

"Winning the Milan derby means winning a match that goes down in club history and it's the one that's the most attractive for everyone."