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Page last updated at 19:25 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 20:25 UK

Barcelona look to cover the loss of Puyol and Pique

Carlos Puyol
Carlos Puyol was red carded against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium

Barcelona will use squad players as cover for their Champions League quarter-final second leg with Arsenal.

With first-choice centre-backs Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique suspended, Barca are likely to call on experience at the Nou Camp next Tuesday.

Mexico captain Rafael Marquez and Argentine Gabriel Milito are at manager Pep Guardiola's disposal.

"Puyol and Pique are important, but we have quality and will be able to cover," said goalkeeper Victor Valdes.

Marquez, 31, played in the 2006 Champions League final victory against Arsenal and is a signing of former manager Frank Rijkaard.

He has made a total of 18 appearances in the 2009-10 season, including three in the Champions League, most recently in the last-16 first leg draw with Stuttgart.


Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola reflected on the loss of Puyol and Pique on Wednesday: "We are going to miss these players but we will have to play someone else. Sometimes you cannot play your best players.

"Other players will have to play in their positions. It's the same for all teams," he added.

Joining Marquez as one of those likely to deputise is Gabriel Milito, an Argentine international signed from Real Zaragoza in 2007.

Milito has 13 appearances this season, but has yet to start in the Champions League, making three substitute appearances for a total of only 57 minutes on the pitch.

Gabriel Milito
Gabriel Milito has 32 caps for Argentina

Should either Marquez or Milito pick up an injury prior to Tuesday's second leg with Arsenal, Guardiola may call on 22-year-old defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy.

The Ukrainian, a £22.2m signing from Shakhtar Donetsk in August 2009, has yet to play in the Champions League, but did captain Shakhtar to their 2008 Uefa Cup win.

Speaking after Wednesday's 2-2 draw, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger discussed Barcelona's predicament: "I think right now Barcelona are favourites going into the second leg, but they have two players suspended so we'll see what happens."

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see also
Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona
31 Mar 10 |  Europe
Arsenal can go through - Wenger
01 Apr 10 |  Arsenal
Barcelona 2-0 Man Utd
27 May 09 |  Europe
Reds make bid for defender Milito
13 Jul 05 |  Liverpool
The Milito enigma
14 Jul 05 |  Liverpool

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