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Friday, November 23, 2007

AS Roma to miss Totti in their next Champions League match

Roma star Francesco Totti is a major doubt for his team's visit to FC Dynamo Kyiv next Tuesday after suffering a recurrence of the foot problem that has sidelined him for the last month.

Indeed, Totti lasted just 15 minutes of his return to first-team training yesterday before taking a knock on the same foot he had injured in the 2-1 triumph over Sporting Clube de Portugal on 23 October. Although x-rays after the initial injury showed no fractures in his right foot, the player was in too much pain to train today and will definitely stay out of Saturday's Serie A game at Genoa.

"This morning Francesco arrived with the intention of training but he felt pain as soon as he put on his boot, so did not train at all and will not play against Genoa," Roma coach Luciano Spalletti admitted. "I don't know when he will be able to play." It appears highly unlikely that Totti, 31, will be available for the Group F game in Kiev, where Roma can secure their place in the knockout rounds.

What's more, midfielders Taddei and Alberto Aquilani are also absent from the squad despite reports earlier in the week that they were ready to return following respective calf and thigh injuries. "We will not take any risks" Spalletti stated.

Yannick Djaló to miss match against Manchester United

Bad news for Sporting Clube of Portugal. Their main striker Yannick Djaló is unlikely to feature against Manchester United FC in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday after pulling a muscle in his right thigh in a Portugal Under-21 clash.

According to the doctors, the 21-year-old, who has appeared in all four of Sporting's Group F matches so far, missed Portugal's 1-1 draw with England on Tuesday in UEFA European Championship qualifying and has not recovered in time for Saturday's Liga game at Leixões SC. "He's undergoing treatment and conditioning training," the club announced. "We expect him to resume training next week."

Furthermore, Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojković will also miss the trip to Leixões and is not expected to figure at Old Trafford. On a more positive note, influential midfielder Leandro Romagnoli should overcome a back injury to play this week. Coach Paulo Bento has called up 17-year-old Paraguayan frontman Luís Paez for the first time as cover. Sporting are third in Group F, three points behind second-placed AS Roma in the race for the knockout rounds of the Champions League.