“I can already imagine tomorrow’s atmosphere”.
The Giallorossi are in England for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final, and the former midfielder addressed the media in his pre-match Press conference.
“First of all the beauty of English stadiums, I can already imagine tomorrow’s atmosphere,” Di Francesco began.
“It’s an atmosphere we’re not used to, with the fans right behind.
“They’ll be playing at home but we’ll have the huge affection of our fans and the strength to play together.
“It’s crucial that we’re even more of a team and play as a collective, against a different team. We need to be on a par with them to compete.
“I think we’re facing a completely different, very aggressive opponent. They have great quality, and they’re the team that has the greatest ability to get it forward immediately.
“One failed dribble can allow their pressure. We’ve come here to play football, to impose certain concepts, to exploit their weaknesses and not fall in to any traps.
“You can’t compare Spal to Liverpool, but we’ve had these concepts for some time and we’ve gained more mental strength.
“I hope we can take that mental strength on to the pitch.”
Di Francesco was then asked about his team and formation for tomorrow’s game.
“We can start with the assumption that I won’t talk about the team, but it’s 50 per cent that [Patrik] Schick will play and 50 per cent that Cengiz [Under] will play.
“The team has taken on board two ways of playing [4-3-3 and 3-5-2], I need to decide what the best solution will be. I don’t want to give any hints to you or the opponents!
“The most important thing is that the mentality must not change, the difference will be the ability to stay compact in the two phases of the game.”