Di Francesco’s revitalised Roma will look to overcome Klopp’s free-flowing Liverpool
There will not be any shortage of entertainment when two attack-minded coaches, Liverpool’s Jurgen Klopp and Roma’s Eusebio Di Francesco, meet on Tuesday in the first leg of the Champions League semifinal at Anfield.
Di Francesco has stamped his mark on AS Roma during a roller-coaster first season which has seen the side from the Italian capital return to the Champions League semifinals for the first time in 34 years.
The fast-talking 48-year-old, whose reputation is one of an astute tactician with a talent for attractive attacking football, replaced Luciano Spalletti, who departed for Inter Milan after a second-place finish in 2016-17.
Taking over a side missing retired club legend Francesco Totti, Di Francesco has set about moulding the club to his style, as it sits third in Serie A.
“The difference for me was Di Francesco, he changed a lot of things and he got it spot on,” said captain Daniele De Rossi.
He is often compared to Klopp for his coaching style and dress sense, standing on the sidelines dressed in tailored suits and wearing colourful hipster glasses.
Meanwhile, Klopp has run out of superlatives to describe Mohammed Salah but deserves credit for finding a way to get the best out of him. The Egypt winger left Roma for Liverpool in June last year for $50 million. It has proved a significant piece of business.