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Spalletti challenges Inter to go beyond limitations in Milan derby

Luciano Spalletti has challenged his Inter side to go beyond their limitations in a hotly anticipated derby against AC Milan.

Inter have enjoyed a superb start under Spalletti's stewardship and sit just two points off leaders Napoli in third having won six and drawn once in seven Serie A matches.

By contrast, Milan are seven points adrift of the Nerazzurri having lost their previous two league matches to crank up the pressure on under-fire boss Vincenzo Montella.

Spalletti is relishing his first taste of the Milan derby, but warned his players there is no hiding place in a highly charged atmosphere.

"The players know how important the derby is and we must go beyond our limitations," he told a pre-match news conference.

"There are no alibis. This is the game, we must make sure we're ready.

"It will be a privilege for me, I have experienced the Rome derby. I will enrich myself and I want to live it fully."

Inter have the best defensive record in the league this season having seen their goal breached just three times and Spalletti insists luck has had no part to play in that regard.

"Having a strong defence is important. It is not fair to say we have been lucky," he added.

"People only remember the times we were saved by the woodwork, not when we were denied."