Title race cool position for Napoli to be in, says relaxed Spalletti

Napoli and Inter face off at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Saturday evening with one point separating them, although champion Inter has a game in hand.

"The goal we set for this season was to get back into the top four," Spalletti told a news conference.   -  REUTERS

Napoli will have to adjust its objective if it beats Inter Milan to go top of Serie A this weekend, coach Luciano Spalletti said on Friday, after starting the campaign with the goal of a top-four finish.

The top two face off at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Saturday evening with one point separating them, although champion Inter has a game in hand.

"The goal we set for this season was to get back into the top four," Spalletti told a news conference.

"But we know that winning this match could catapult us towards another objective. It is a cool situation to be in... This is what we love and live for in this sport."

Spalletti's side cut the gap to one point last weekend by clinching a fourth straight league win against Venezia after AC Milan beat rival Inter 2-1.

One point now separates the top three, with Milan behind Napoli on goal difference.

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"We will probably find an Inter side that is angry about the derby defeat," Spalletti said.

"They will be furious, as teams of that pedigree are when they lose. We respect them, but we don't need to change our attitude."

Kalidou Koulibaly is back after a triumphant Africa Cup of Nations campaign with Senegal, which ended in a penalty shoot-out victory over Egypt in the final, but his place in the team is not guaranteed.

"After winning the cup he went to applaud his opponents, firstly those who missed a penalty. He has different human qualities," Spalletti said.

"But we must also keep in mind what the players who have replaced him in this period have done. It is about respect for the group. I will wait until tomorrow to name the team."

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