Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco is determined to avoid any distractions when Luciano Spalletti returns to the Stadio Olimpico with Inter on Saturday.
Spalletti led Roma to back-to-back third-place finishes in Serie A but headed for the exit and took over at Inter following the conclusion of last season.
The 58-year-old will return to the capital in the opposition dugout this weekend, but Di Francesco, who expressed his admiration for his opposite number, insists the match is solely about what happens on the pitch.
“There are the comparisons with Spalletti, but tomorrow is about Roma versus Inter first and foremost,” the Roma coach told a pre-match news conference.
“I don’t have to introduce Luciano – I’m clearly younger than him. I tried to steal some methods from him too. For me, he’s an example.
“I’ve worked with him in the past and we continue to have a good relationship.”
— AS Roma English (@ASRomaEN) August 25, 2017
When asked about a potential move for Sampdoria striker Patrik Schick, Di Francesco reiterated the importance of the early-season clash that pits two sides who won their opening league fixtures against one another.
“There’s no transfer market in my head, only Inter and a result so we can work more calmly during the international break,” he said.
Di Francesco is expecting to welcome Alessandro Florenzi – fit again after two major knee injuries – back to the Roma side for the first time since last October, although he does not know what role the versatile midfielder will play.
“[Florenzi] will definitely be included in my squad and I would start him tomorrow if I could,” Di Francesco said.
“Alessandro hasn’t been training with the group for long and he’s still not 100 per cent fit, but could he be an option off the bench? You never know.
“I hope to see him out there too especially given the tough time he’s had of late.”
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