Two wins from six matches have left Roma in mid-table of Serie A while their capital rivals are fourth, but Di Francesco’s side are unbeaten in their last six games at the ground and thumped Frosinone 4-0 on Wednesday night.
“The derby is a one-off match and we must go into it determined to win – victory would rekindle enthusiasm among the fans,” Di Francesco said.
“Lazio are doing well at the moment. They added experience – players like Milan Badelj, Joaquin Correa and Francesco Acerbi, who I know well.
“They’ve built on the good campaign they had last season. We must be wary of the threat they pose but focus on ourselves and our own job.
“What I ask of the fans is to get behind the team – but I have no doubt they will. Roma fans do that every match regardless.
“It’s up to us to fire up the fans with the way we play and our determination to dictate the game.”
Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko will lead the attack, but defender Kostas Manolas is a doubt because of an unspecified injury.
“Edin Dzeko will start up front. I’m more interested in his contribution to the team as a whole, rather than his individual performance,” Di Francesco said.
“We can play various formations but what really makes the difference is the players’ attitude on the pitch.”
Lazio coach Simone Inzaghi insists the form book is irrelevant to the Rome derby.
“You never get favourites in the derby. The odds have always been reversed – the difference will be hunger,” said Inzaghi, who is missing only injured full-back Jordan Lukaku.
“Winning a derby would mean a lot for our whole environment and would give us an extra boost for the next matches. The derby is a game in itself in our league.”