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Spartak Moscow v Barcelona

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Pique & Puyol: Back to boost Barca

Pique & Puyol: Back to boost Barca

Spartak Moscow face an uphill battle to keep their Champions League hopes alive when they entertain Barcelona on Tuesday evening.

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The Russians have a dilemma between the sticks. Third-choice goalkeeper Artem Rebrov joins fellow glovemen Andriy Dikan and Sergei Pesyakov on the sidelines.

Manager Unai Emery is also without strikers Artem Dzyuba and Welliton while skipper Sergei Parshivlyuk, former Everton midfielder Diniyar Bilyaletdinov, Brazil international Romula and Republic of Ireland winger Aiden McGeady are also unavailable.

Argentine defender Nicolas Pareja, meanwhile, is suspended.

For Barcelona, manager Tito Vilanova is without young right-back Marc Bartra while Alexis Sanchez remains out for about a month, having picked up an injury while on international duty with Chile.

On a positive note, the centre-back pairing of Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique are expected to start, both having made their comebacks in the weekend's 3-1 defeat of Zaragoza.

It is a match the Catalans will be wholly focused on winning and they can ill-afford to underestimate the Russians, whom they narrowly beat 3-2 last time out.

Furthermore, Vilanova will be looking for a response from his side following the shock 2-1 defeat to Glasgow Celtic in their previous matchday fixture.

Posted: 19/11/12 16:51

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