Juventus clash a watershed moment for Inter, says Spalletti

Inter goes into the Derby d'Italia top of Serie A, but coach Luciano Spalletti says this match is the real barometer of his team's progress.

Inter coach Luciano Spalletti has opined that clash with Juventus is a barometer of his team's progress.   -  Getty Images

Luciano Spalletti believes Saturday's Derby d'Italia clash with Juventus will allow him to judge whether or not Inter has what it takes to compete consistently against the best.

Inter goes into the eagerly-anticipated meeting at the top of Serie A, having gone to the summit for the first time since January 2016 with a 5-0 hammering of Chievo last time out.

Its improvement under Spalletti this season has been remarkable, with the Italian coach taking over a side that stuttered to a seventh-place finish last term.

Inter has 18 points more than it had at the same time last year and is yet to suffer defeat in the league. But Spalletti knows Saturday's trip to Juve is an entirely different challenge to most matches and will act as a barometer for title credentials.

Watch: 'Juventus v Inter is important, but not decisive'

"We know the obstacle that lies ahead of us," Spalletti told reporters at his pre-match news conference.

"Over the past few months we've worked on our identity, conviction and strength that we want to show out on the pitch. Out there [on the pitch], that will be enough to tell us if we can win and compete with strong teams like Juventus. We know our qualities and we'll head to Turin to secure as many points as possible.

"This match is defined as the derby of Italy. It is a test that motivates you; however, we must remain calm. These lads have demonstrated they can transfer everything linked to Inter out onto the field.

"We have a precise identity which we work on. We have some objectives and we'll need to secure plenty of points to achieve them. Consequently, it's crucial for us to be aware of who we are."

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