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Rediff.com  » Sports » Football Extras: Will Barca struggle without Suarez?

Football Extras: Will Barca struggle without Suarez?

November 27, 2018 11:03 IST

News of all that's transpired on and off the football field

Luis Suarez

IMAGE: Barcelona striker Luis Suarez will miss two weeks for knee treatment. Photograph: Sergio Perez/Reuters

Barcelona striker Luis Suarez will be out of action for two weeks as he undergoes stem cell treatment on his right knee, the Spanish champions said Monday.

The Uruguayan forward had been suffering pain and was not included in Barcelona's squad for the trip to face PSV Eindhoven in the Champions League on Wednesday.

 

Suarez joins Sergi Roberto on the sidelines, with the midfielder out for three weeks with a hamstring injury sustained against Atletico Madrid on Saturday.

Rafinha Alcantara was ruled out for the rest of the season with a cruciate ligament injury to his left knee, also sustained in Saturday's 1-1 draw at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Brazilian midfielder Arthur was also omitted from the squad with a thigh strain, but Ivan Rakitic and Philippe Coutinho return after injury.

Newcastle revival continues with victory at Burnley

Newcastle United

IMAGE: Newcastle United FC players celebrate. Photograph: Premier League/Twitter

Newcastle United surged clear of the Premier League relegation zone after a Ben Mee own goal and Ciaran Clark's header in the first half helped them to a 2-1 win at struggling Burnley on Monday.

Newcastle celebrated a third successive league victory after failing to win any of their opening 10 fixtures and moved up to 13th place on 12 points from 13 games.

The Magpies are four points clear of the relegation zone and three points ahead of 17th-placed Burnley, who stretched their winless league streak to six games.

Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez praised his team after a solid performance.

The kick off was delayed by half an hour when the referees' assessor Eddie Wolstenholme collapsed in the tunnel and was taken to hospital, but once the match got underway Newcastle dominated the opening period.

The Magpies took a fourth-minute lead after a Federico Fernandez shot from 20 metres took a heavy deflection off Mee and Clark then made it 2-0 with a superb header in the 23rd minute as he met a fine cross from the left by Matt Ritchie.

Sam Vokes pulled one back for Burnley shortly before the break with a looping header from 15 metres, with Newcastle goalkeeper Martin Dubravka caught out of position after a long ball by Mee.

Ritchie was guilty of an astonishing miss just after the break when he shot wide from two metres with Burnley keeper Joe Hart beaten. Joselu also hit the post for Newcastle with a stinging low shot and they then held on in the closing stages.

Vokes rued the soft early goals and stressed Burnley needed to rediscover last season's home form.

Manchester City missing injured trio for Lyon clash

Manchester City will be without the injured Bernardo Silva, Gabriel Jesus and Ilkay Guendogan for their Champions League Group F visit to Olympique Lyonnais.

The trio were all missing from the 19-man squad which made the trip to France and manager Pep Guardiola told a pre-match news conference they did not travel due to fitness issues.

Group leaders City, who lost 2-1 at home to Lyon in their opening game, will qualify for the last 16 with a draw and will clinch top spot with a win at the Stade de Lyon.

Lyon will be through with a win and a draw will be enough to qualify if the other game is also drawn due to their better head-to-head record with Hoffenheim, who host Shakhtar Donetsk.

City lead the group on nine points ahead of Lyon on six with Hoffenheim on three and Shakhtar with two.

City are already without long-term injury absentees Kevin De Bruyne and Benjamin Mendy, who both have knee problems, but Guardiola said teenager Phil Foden was ready to feature.

United defender Lindelof faces spell on the sidelines

Manchester United's Swedish defender Victor Lindelof will be 'out for quite a while', manager Jose Mourinho said on Monday ahead of their Champions League match at home to Young Boys.

Linedelof, who was this month named his country's Player of the Year, had made six consecutive starts for United but misses Tuesday's Group H game against the Swiss after being injured in Saturday's 0-0 Premier League draw with Crystal Palace.

Lindelof has been joined on the sidelines by Argentine Marcos Rojo, who has "some little injury", leaving United with only three fit centre-backs for Tuesday's game.

The Italian played the whole match at home to Palace on Saturday as a replacement for Luke Shaw, who is eligible to face Young Boys after serving a one-match domestic suspension.

Second-placed United will qualify for the last 16 with a victory if Valencia do not beat leaders Juventus in Turin, while Young Boys must win to have a chance of a third-place finish.

Juve top the group on nine points ahead of United, who have seven, Valencia on five and Young Boys with one point.

Wembley pitch OK for play despite rough state, says UEFA

UEFA has maintained that the Wembley Stadium pitch is fit for purpose for Tottenham Hotspur's Champions League clash against Inter Milan on Wednesday, although sources say it is disappointed in the appearance of the worn-out turf.

The Group B clash will be the seventh event on the pitch in just over four weeks, with an NFL match and two England games being played in the venue alongside Spurs fixtures while the Premier League club wait to move into their new stadium.

The match is a must-win fixture for Spurs as they seek a place in the knockout stages of the competition.

European soccer's governing body is not happy with the aesthetics of the pitch, which has visible bumps and patches of mud. However, a spokesperson told Reuters in an email: "The playability of the Champions League match Tottenham-Inter is not compromised."

Inter are second in Group B and three points ahead of third-place Spurs who have four points. Barcelona lead the group on 10 points and face PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday before their final game against Tottenham at home next month.

Source:
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