Inter Milan defender Francesco Acerbi is set to have a key role marking striker Erling Haaland in the Champions League final later this month Man City.
This is highlighted in today’s print edition of Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport, via FCInterNews.
Inter will be coming up against European football’s most lethal striker in the form of Haaland.
In just over a week’s time, the Nerazzurri are forced to keep Erling Haalans quiet. The Norwegian striker has scored a total of 36 goals for City in the league as Pep Guardiola’s team won the Premier League title.
Even more worryingly for Inter, Haaland has found the back of the net ten times in the Champions League. The Norwegian has scored a total of 52 goals across all competitions in his debut campaign for City.
However, Inter will rely on their defensive stalwart to stop the 22-year-old.
Acerbi To Be Key To Stopping Man City Superstar Erling Haaland
The Gazzetta name Acerbi as the man who will have to deal with Haaland. The 35-year-old will in all likelihood start the final in Istanbul.
Acerbi has been a totemic presence at the back all season for Inter.
Arriving from Lazio on loan last summer, he has cemented a starting spot for himself ahead of Stefan de Vrij.
Acerbi has kept strikers like Napoli’s Victor Osimhen and Benfica’s Goncalo Ramos very quiet. Now, Inter will be hoping that he can do the same to Haaland.
The centre-back won’t be able to do it alone, though.
The Gazzetta highlight the importance of a tight defensive “cage” around Haaland.
Moreover, the newspaper anticipate that Inter will play a fairly deep defensive line. This will allow the midfielders to squeeze back and deny City space in front of the back three.
Without much space to run through, Inter can force Haaland into tight confines with Acerbi.
One-on-one against the former Sassuolo defender, getting good chances to score won’t be easy. Even for a striker like Haaland, it will be a difficult test.