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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Injuries Hit Barcelona's Cup Game

LONDON -- Barcelona, resigned to losing Brazilian striker Ronaldo for Thursday's Cup Winners' Cup tie against Red Star Belgrade, now have a goalkeeping crisis on their hands.


Portuguese international goalkeeper Vitor Baia pulled up in training Tuesday with a ligament strain in his right knee and is doubtful for the first-leg match at Nou Camp.


Second-choice goalkeeper Julen Lopetegui is also injured and on Monday, reserve 'keeper Mariano Angoy quit the club to play American football for the Barcelona Dragons.


As a result, 29-year-old Carlos Busquets is set for an unexpected comeback to Barcelona's first team.


Busquets was a regular under former manager Johan Cruyff but when Bobby Robson took over at the Catalan giants, bringing Baia with him from Porto, the Spaniard slithered down the ranks into the third team.


If he plays Thursday it will be his first top-level appearance since Robson and Baia arrived in the summer.


At the other end of the pitch, Spain striker Juan Pizzi is set to replace Ronaldo, who misses the clash with the Yugoslavs because of a Brazilian friendly that has also deprived holders Paris St. Germain and Portugal's Benfica of their top marksmen.


PSG will be without Leonardo, whose seven goals to date have helped them to build a commanding lead in the French league, for their tricky first-round tie in Turkey against Galatasaray.


Laurent Fournier will probably move forward into Leonardo's attacking midfield role, with Jose Cobos coming into the defense at left back.


PSG are expecting a tough clash in Istanbul's Ali Sami Yen stadium.


Benfica striker Osmar Donizete -- like Ronaldo, the top scorer in his league -- misses the Portuguese side's second-round tie against Lokomotiv Moscow to play for his country.


Fiorentina, winners of the first Cup Winners' Cup final back in 1961, are promising great things when they face Sparta Prague in their first leg in Florence.


The Italians have taken only five points from their five Series A games to date, but captain Gabriel Batistuta believes his side are about to burst upon an astonished world.


"I feel I can make a promise to the fans -- Fiorentina and Batistuta are just about to take off and the worst is behind us now," the inspirational forward said.