By JOHN BOSCHINI
Both Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur could be without some of their top players for their Champions League quarterfinal match Tuesday.
Madrid could be without forward Cristiano Ronaldo (thigh), winger Karim Benzema (thigh) and full-back Marcelo (ribs) for the first-leg tie at the Bernabeu. The trio will definitely miss Saturday’s match at Sporting Gijon. Ronaldo has not scored in four matches and was left out of Portugal’s international team in order to recover.
On a positive note for Jose Mourinho, striker Gonzalo Higuain could feature against Gijon and Spurs. Higuain hasn’t played since November when he went out with a back problem that required surgery.
Tottenham will be without a star of its own with Gareth Bale still struggling to overcome a hamstring injury. Also in doubt for the trip to Spain is defender William Gallas, leaving manager Harry Redknapp with a shortage of central defenders.
First kick is scheduled for 2:45 p.m. on Tuesday.
Here are some more stories to help you through to the weekend.
BOSNIA BANNED BY FIFA, UEFA
Bosnia-Herzegovina has been banned from international competition by both FIFA and UEFA and could miss out on the European Championships in 2012. FIFA/UEFA imposed the ban because Bosnia refused to trim its three-man presidency to a single person to line up with FIFA policy.
Last October, FIFA gave Bosnia six months to comply with the order and now has the option of creating an emergency panel to circumvent the current FA and allow Bosnian teams to play internationally. Bosnia’s next scheduled competitive match is June 3 in a EURO 2012 qualifier with Romania.
SAHA INJURED, OUT FOR THE SEASON
Everton will be without striker Luis Saha for the rest of the season due to an ankle injury.
Saha has scored nine goals this season and picked up the injury during Everton’s 2-1 victory over Fulham last month. It’s just the latest injury blow for Everton as Mikel Arteta, Marouane Fellaini, Tim Cahill and Jack Rodwell are all set to miss time.
BUFFON OPEN TO JUVENTUS EXIT
Italian goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon has admitted that his days at long-time club Juventus could be numbered with rumors swirling that Arsenal is interested in the 33-year-old.
Juventus is likely to unload the expensive keeper if the club is unable to make the Champions League for next season. Juventus currently sits seventh in the Serie A table, 11 points off a Champions League spot. Buffon has said in the past that he would like to play in England but has played for the Turino-based club for nearly a decade.
What do you think of today’s stories? Still excited for Madrid/Spurs despite the injuries? Should Bosnia have been banned? Would you like the see Buffon suit up for the Gunners?
Share your thoughts below.