'We have to believe and we have to try', says Roma coach Francesco ahead of Real clash

AS Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco. Photograph:( AFP )

Reuters Rome, Italy Nov 27, 2018, 05.37 PM (IST)

AS Roma coach Eusebio Di Francesco on Monday said that his side will have 'to believe' ahead of UEFA Champions League match against European champions Real Madrid.

"I have always felt great confidence from AS Roma, but football is football and the result of tomorrow will be important to be the first in the group. We have to believe and we have to try. We have a good position in the group and this position could be excellent if we will offer a great performance tomorrow," he said.

Roma, who finished third in Serie A last season and reached the Champions League semi-finals, suffered a shock 1-0 defeat at Udinese on November 24, leaving them seventh in the table and 18 points behind leaders Juventus.

They host Real Madrid in Champions League Group G on November 27, needing a draw to qualify for the next round with one match to spare.

During a news conference in Rome, Di Francesco said his team will have to believe in a win ahead of today's match against Los Blancos in order to keep the lead of Group G. He added that Solari's side is technical similar to Julen Lopetegui's but also that, at a psychological level, Los Blancos are now different because of their poor performance in Spanish championship.

Di Francesco's future is now said to be under threat, some media reports saying he has been given two games to inspire an improvement.

Real Madrid got their Champions League title defence off to a strong start on September 19 by convincingly beating AS Roma 3-0 at home with goals from Isco, Gareth Bale and a stoppage-time strike from striker Mariano Diaz.

AS Roma and Real Madrid lead Group G with nine points, five ahead of CSKA Moscow in third place, while Viktoria Plzen are bottom of the group and can no longer finish in the top two.

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They host Real Madrid in Champions League Group G on November 27, needing a draw to qualify for the next round with one match to spare.