|With both clubs in
a situation that is nothing short of turmoil, the Champions League Group B clash
between Real Madrid and AS Roma on Tuesday could be a turning point in the
season for one of the teams.
After their poor start to the season in both Spain and in Europe, manager Josй
Antonio Camacho resigned and was replaced by Mariano Garcнa Remуn, who led his
team to victory over Osasuna, but saw his team defeated at Bilbao over the
On Roma’s side, after the horrific scenes during the match against Dynamo Kiev,
which resulted in a 0-3 forfeit loss for the Italians and a closed-door stadium
ban, they then lost to both Messina and Bologna in Serie A, prompting the
departure of manager Rudi Vцller. Ezio Selia will be on the sidelines on Tuesday.
With both teams on losing runs, the only thing that could come into play and
make a difference on Tuesday is the fact that Madrid have the advantage of
playing at Santiago Bernabйu, although their supporters aren’t exactly the
happiest in the world right now.
Zinedine Zidane, who limped off injured in Madrid’s loss to Leverkusen two weeks
ago, will make a return to the team and David Beckham, who has recently had a
viral infection, is expected to play. He will likely be partnered by Raъl,
leaving Michael Owen relegated to the bench. Both Walter Samuel and Francisco
Pavуn will be suspended if booked in the game.
Roma will miss suspended Frenchman Philippe Mexes, who was banned for two games
after kicking out at Maris Verpakovskis two weeks ago, the incident that began
the trouble at the Olimpico, which saw referee Anders Frisk hit by a missile,
forcing abandonment. Also injured is Christian Panucci, who could possibly miss
There is another game in Group B on Tuesday, and it pits the two group leaders,
Dynamo Kiev and Bayer Leverkusen, who meet in the Ukraine.
Kiev, who were actually leading at half-time when their match with Roma was
halted, currently sit in second in the Ukrainian Vyscha Liga, five points adrift
of Shakhtar Donetsk. Sergiy Fedorov and Valentin Belkevich remain injured and
will miss out for Kiev, but defender Rodolfo should be back in the team.
As for Leverkusen, they will look to shrug off their poor recent showing in the
Bundesliga to earn a win. In their last three league games, they have drawn with
Nьrnberg and Mainz and were dominated 3-0 by Stuttgart on Saturday. The only
sure absence will be Roque Junior, who misses out with a groin strain. Despite
an ankle injury, striker Franзa played against Stuttgart and should start next
to Dimitar Berbatov on Tuesday.