NEWS
Monday February 19 2018
EDF: 'Concentration key in Champions'

Eusebio Di Francesco warns Roma that “concentration can make the difference” in their Champions League clash with Shakhtar Donetsk.

The first leg of the Round of 16 kicks off on Wednesday at 19.45 GMT.

“I’d say our chances of qualification are 50-50, because I consider Shakhtar to be an excellent team,” the Coach told UEFA.com.

“We are on the same level, so I think it’ll be an even tie. Having said that, we must give our all in terms of concentration. This could make the difference over the two games and there will be no time to make up for any error.

“In football, confidence comes and goes, so we hope to be consistent in our results as well as our performances. Naturally, we’d be very proud to get through to the quarter-finals, but also very enthusiastic.

“We’ll take our Champions League adventure one step at a time. For now, we’ll try to get past a tough test with Shakhtar Donetsk, as let’s not forget they eliminated Napoli, who at this moment are dominating Italian football along with Juventus. They are an impressive team who know what they want.”

Over the last three Serie A games, 20-year-old Turkish talent Cengiz Under has been decisive, contributing four goals and an assist.

“Obviously a player like Under needs a little more time to assimilate the change in league, the directives or movements that are asked of him. At this moment, the player has this capacity, sharpness and exuberance to transform what I ask for into something remarkable.

“I hope he can continue like this, but he must never give up or lose his humility.”

Di Francesco was a player for Roma and won the Scudetto, but never actually played in the Champions League.

“Hearing the anthem before kick-off makes you realise where you are. Having said that, the first time with Atletico Madrid, I was so focused on the game that everything else fell into the background. The most important thing now is not to rest on our laurels.”

The high point was a 3-0 victory over Antonio Conte’s Chelsea at the Stadio Olimpico, having drawn 3-3 in London.

“Without doubt, that was the highlight, but I hope there will be more to come. We felt very proud, but that fades quickly. If you don’t follow it up with consistent results, it all comes crashing down.”

See the latest Serie A predictions and betting tips with Eurotips.co.uk