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Spalletti follows Sarri's lead as Inter prepare for 'very strong' Napoli

By Rob Lancaster
Inter head coach Luciano Spalletti

Milan, March 11: Luciano Spalletti admits Inter will need to be "nearly perfect" if they are to put a further dent in Napoli's title challenge on Sunday (March 10).

Maurizio Sarri's league leaders suffered a deflating 4-2 home loss to Roma last time out, allowing nearest rivals Juventus to close the gap at the top of the Serie A table.

Despite the blip, Spalletti has been so impressed by Napoli this season that he's tried to replicate some of their methods at his own club.

The Nerazzurri had aspirations of challenging for the league too at one stage, but now face a fight just to finish in the top four.

"We will have to be nearly perfect because Sarri's team and his idea of football could provide ideas about the principles on which we should model our style of football," Inter's manager told the media.

"There are examples that already make up part of our style of play and one of those is Napoli.

"In my opinion, Napoli are very strong. They have pace, possession, technique and goals.

"But I've also prepared well and we also have good stats. We absolutely need a victory for our place in the league and we'll have to play to win it."

Inter defeated bottom club Benevento 2-0 last time out, with Rafinha making his first start for the club since joining from Barcelona.

The midfielder was hampered in 2017 by knee problems, but has impressed his new manager with his work ethic in training.

"Rafinha is constantly growing - he trains better day by day and he always succeeds in developing his technical qualities and speed," he said.

"We're happy. He himself sees that he's improving.

"He's managing to play his football for a longer period every time and this encourages us to hope that we'll soon have him totally available."

Source: OPTA

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Story first published: Sunday, March 11, 2018, 3:00 [IST]
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