BARCELONA - Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard looks set to ask his battered and bruised Mexican international defender Rafa Marquez to stop Manchester United strikers Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Marquez could fill the hole in the centre of Barca's back four left by the suspension of club captain and Spanish international Carles Puyol for today's Champions League semifinal first leg between the two European giants.
However, there are big question marks over whether Marquez will be fully fit to face the Red Devils and their potent strike force.
In recent weeks he has suffered from bruising and inflammation of his right foot and he has been on a constant regime of painkillers.
"I get twinges whenever I kick the ball. I'm in a lot of pain when I put my weight on it but it's a problem I've had for several seasons," Marquez revealed on a local Barcelona radio station on Monday.
"I'm getting injections to play [every week] but people haven't been told about that until now. However, I'm at training every day and giving 100 percent so I don't think there can be any complaints."
Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has had his defensive options limited by injuries and the suspension of Puyol.
Brazilian international Edmilson trained alone in the gym on Monday and is still recovering from recent knocks.
Oleguer Presas was passed fit to play only on Monday after a month on the sidelines with a badly broken finger. However, Oleguer could be among Barca's substitutes today despite his lack of match practice after a second lengthy injury-inflicted absence since the start of the year. - Sapa-AFP