Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ronaldinho injured

Ronaldinho is the latest player to be ruled out for Barcelona before the Catalans face promoted club Almeria in the Primera Liga on Sunday.

The Brazilian has failed to shake off a muscle strain and joins Lionel Messi, Deco, Giovani Dos Santos, Santi Ezquerro, Rafael Marquez and Yaya Toure on the sidelines.

The absence of those players leaves coach Frank Rijkaard with huge selection problems in attack and midfield ahead of Sunday's game.

With Ronaldinho, Messi and Giovani all missing, Rijkaard looks set to keep faith with under-fire strikers Thierry Henry and Samuel Eto'o, who were both disappointing in last week's home defeat against Villarreal.

Following that match, Villarreal winger Robert Pires suggested Barcelona should ditch their habitual 4-3-3 formation in favour of a more competitive 4-4-2.

But Rijkaard says he will keep faith with his favourite formation.

"The system works and we have no reason to change it," he said on Saturday.

Andres Iniesta could therefore be moved into a more attacking role on the left of the team's three-pronged attack, while Bojan Krkic is another option for Rijkaard.

Midfield is also a problem as the team's two recognised holding midfielders - Toure and Marquez - both sit out through injury.

Their absence is likely to mean a rare start for Edmilson, while Eidur Gudjohnsen looks set to come in for the injured Deco.

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