Champions League: Injuries Trouble Barcelona & Rome

By: Stephen Lars

The Barcelona and Rome teams are concerned about the injuries, which bring lots of uncertainty to the Champion League quarterfinals, which have a predominant English participation.

The Spaniard team Barcelona has been stroked by defeats at Spain's local tournament and next Tuesday will play against Germany's Schalke. Barcelona will not count with Lionel Messi and to Deco due to injuries and both Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldinho are doubts.

In the Italian side, Roma will not have Francesco Totti who the biggest absence for their next match against Manchester United. Up to this point four English clubs remain present in the tournament: Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool but not all they will be able to advance to the semifinals.

The first English clash will have the teams Arsenal and Liverpool, which will take place next Wednesday in the London Emirates stadium. That same day Chelsea will face Fenerbahce, which is the Turkish league leader that has the Brazilian Zico as coach.

On Saturday visitor Real Betis 3-2 defeated Barcelona. This game certainly buried Barcelona's hopes for the title as it will descent to the third position more less seven points away from the Real Madrid. The day after the match Barcelona's players were insulted by their supporters, during training, insults such as: "useless" and "shameless".

The Italian AS Rome drew 1-1 against Cagliari on Saturday and was unable to reduce the gap of points that separates them from the leader Inter in the campaign to obtain the Italian Serie A title.

During the match Totti scored a goal but suffered a tear in his left thigh. Luciano Spalletti, Rome's coach, regretted Totti's absence but affirmed he has enormous confidence that the team will rise to the occasion as they have done it in the past when they have not been able to include their captain.

Nevertheless, Barcelona will be able to have the Mexican defender Rafael MÃ?rquez, who is fully recovered from a month of inactivity. Another player who will be able to play is the Argentinean Gabriel Military. It is definitely bad timing that Messi and the Portuguese Deco - who are key attack pieces, will not be able to play. Messi who has scored six points is in first position along with Cristiano Ronaldo in the tournament's scoreboard.

The Cameroonian Eto' o is still a big question mark for the next game due to a contraction in his left foot...but affirmed he will be part of the list of players on game day: "I play although be with a leg", he said.

In the meantime, the situation of the Brazilian Ronaldinho is surrounded by mystery. The Brazilian forward has lost the last four games of the local tournament and there are not signs that he has recovered from a pain in his right foot, also the rumors regarding his last days with the club continue to increase.

Schalke, the Barcelona's rival, did not play well over the weekend. The German team drew with tremendous difficulty and has only obtained three victories in the Bundesliga. The Germans are aware of the fact they are not favorites but they know they can surprise Barcelona.

Manchester United is the favorite to eliminate the Italians as they did during the previous tournament. Now, without Totti, Rome's attack will depend on Mirko Vucinic, who has scored four goals in the tournament.

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