Lazio defender Francesco Acerbi will be tasked with replacing Giorgio Chiellini in Italy’s match tonight against Switzerland.

As reported by Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport (via LazioNews24) earlier today, coach Roberto Mancini has decided to start the Biancocelesti defender in place of the injured Chiellini, partnering him alongside veteran centre back Leonardo Bonucci. 

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The Lazio defender will need to be on his best form this evening, as the match is a key 2022 World Cup qualifier for Italy.

The Azzurri are currently tied on points with Switzerland and they could risk missing out on direct qualification to the tournament should they lose to their northern neighbours tonight in the Stadio Olimpico.

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The 33-year-old Acerbi, who is contracted to Lazio until 2025, made three appearances for Italy during the successful Euro 2020 campaign, playing the full 120 minutes in the 2-1 win over Austria, where he provided an assist.

He is a core part of Maurizio Sarri’s Lazio squad as well, featuring in every game when fit.