ROME - Barcelona will not be hamstrung by their defensive problems in the Champions League final against Manchester United, goalkeeper Victor Valdes said on Tuesday. Coach Pep Guardiola will be forced to field a makeshift rearguard with full backs Eric Abidal and Dani Alves suspended and central defender Rafael Marquez injured. "We are missing important players in defence but we also have great replacements," Valdes told a news conference. "I completely trust my team mates." Guardiola is expected to switch captain Carles Puyol to the right flank with Yaya Toure at centre back and another converted midfielder, Seydou Keita, taking Abidal's place on the left. Puyol said he was confident that whatever solution his coach chose would work out as Barca bid for a treble after winning the Spanish Cup and the Primera Liga. "The team is in good shape. We have great players and the coach will play them in the right positions," the 31-year-old said. "I am certain that everything is going to be just perfect." Guardiola also seemed relaxed about the situation. "I know we are missing important players but that cannot be an excuse," he said. "If we can't play with a defender at 100 percent we'll just play with more forwards." Puyol stressed, however, that for all their confidence Barca know the defending European champions present a massive challenge. "There is a very good feeling. We know we have an historic opportunity," he said. "We know we are up against a great team. They have a great defence and lots of quality players who can make the difference. We have to look at the team as a whole." NEWS: Sheringham tips Reds to reign in Rome NEWS: Evra - Marking Messi will be easy peasy NEWS: Messi - Classy Catalans deserve to win in Rome NEWS: Rijkaard: United have got no chance NEWS: Rio's Rome hopes hinge on Hull NEWS: Henry and Iniesta on course for final NEWS: O'Shea coy on Rome start speculation NEWS: Ferguson anticipating fantastic final NEWS: Foreign Office advice for fans heading to Rome NEWS: All white on the night for Reds in Rome UNITED FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Wayne Rooney, Peter Schmeichel, Carlos Tevez Q&A Wayne Rooney, Cristiano Ronaldo, Ruud Van Nistlerooy One on One David Beckham, George Best Ask A Silly Question Bryan Robson Boy's A Bit Special Danny Simpson Perfect XI Garth Crooks, Bryan Robson, Sir Bobby Charlton, Eric Cantona What Happened Next? David May, Norman Whiteside Sing When You’re Winning Dominic Monaghan, Ian Brown And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Rate United players (and others) on Talentspotter BARCELONA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews section for more stuff to read: Q&A Samuel Eto'o, Cesc Fabregas Web Exclusives Cesc Fabregas, Gary Lineker One on One Mark Hughes, Thierry Henry, Ronaldo Perfect XI Gheorghe Hagi, Hristo Stoichkov, Ronald Koeman Plus! Rate Barca players (and others) on Talentspotter
26 May 2009
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