AS Roma Manager Eusebio Di Francesco is banking on Edin Dzeko to inspire a turnaround for the club in the second leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final tie against Liverpool at the Stadio Olympico this evening.
Liverpool ran out 5-2 winners at Anfield in the first leg, with Mohamed Salah scoring a brace against his former club.
A 3-0 win for Roma will be enough for them to qualify for the final, and they can take encouragement from the fact they defeated Barcelona by the same score line after losing 4-1 in their first meeting in the quarter-final.
“All the players need to feel responsible and be pleased about that (responsibility),” Di Francesco told reporters in his pre-match news conference on Tuesday.
“As coach, I’m pleased to have this responsibility, but the players are the ones doing it on the pitch.
“Even more so with Dzeko – I hope he can be our Salah from the first leg, so he can pull things back and determine a great comeback. A player of his quality, ability – it’s right that he has this responsibility.”
Roma is yet to concede a goal at home in the Champions League this season and while it faces an uphill task to progress, Di Francesco believes the club’s supporters can play a major part in helping the team complete “another miracle” in Europe.
“The fact we’ve conceded so few chances to opponents at home in Europe is due to our support. We’ve only really struggled against Atletico Madrid. Since then, we’ve managed to contain, and I hope we see the same on Wednesday,” he concluded.