Francesco Acerbi on Celtic and Lazio 'final'

By Connor Gordon

November 7, 2019

Francesco Acerbi thinks his Lazio side will treat tonight’s Celtic match as a final.

The defender shipped two goals to the Hoops in the match at Parkhead. The Italian is well aware of what tonight’s game means to their side’s qualification hopes. If they lose, then their chances of qualification will be dashed and the Celts will go through.

Fracesco Acerbi on Lazio and Celtic Europa League tie

The 31-year-old has been there, seen it and done it in football.

Francesco Acerbi in action during weekend win against AC Milan. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

The vastly experienced centre-back isn’t a stranger to a pressurised game like tonight’s in Rome.

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Both teams are on form, though the Hoops have the upper hand having won the first match between the two.

This game will determine whether Acerbi’s Lazio will qualify out the group this season.

He told Sky Sports Italy yesterday after the press conference: “It’s a decisive race, a final for us. We want to move forward in the Europa League as in all other competitions.

Francesco Acerbi and Simone Inzaghi speaking at last night’s press conference. (Photo by Giampiero Sposito/Getty Images)

“Celtic has great players and a lot of consistency and for this we will have to take to the field with the mentality of aiming to get the result and win.”

The Hoops are flying on all cylinders but one criticism from the first game was that Acerbi is able to deal with Celtic’s crosses.

Hoops must be looking to put Italian stopper under pressure

In the Celtic Park match, there weren’t a lot of clear goal scoring opportunities for the Hoops. They needed to bide their time and luck as is normal in a massive European tie.

The one thing Celtic should be looking to do is play a lot more on the ground.

Ryan Christie and Odsonne Edouard celebrating goal against Lazio. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Acerbi and his defensive teammates were met with a lot of easy crosses to sweep away. However, when the Hoops started playing and passing, that’s when they were on the front foot.

Experienced defenders such as Acerbi will be rubbing their hands at another night of high crosses to Odsonne Edouard who will be the lone striker.

Lennon will be looking to shake it up a bit and give the ageing legs of Acerbi a work out.