Pepe Guardiola will need to get his tactical thinking cap on!
Barcelona full-backs Eric Abidal and Dani Alves will both miss the Champions League final after the club’s appeal to Uefa against their suspensions failed.
Abidal was sent off for a trip on Nicolas Anelka in the semi-final against Chelsea last week.
And Alves picked up a yellow card for a challenge on Ashley Cole, his second booking of the knockout stages.
Barca will face Manchester United in the Champions League final in Rome on 27 May with the defending champions suffering from a suspension of their own.
Midfielder Darren Fletcher also failed to get his dismissal for a challenge in the semi-finals, second leg overturned. (BBC Sport)
Given that Pepe Guardiola also has serious problems in the centre of his defence it seems that of the two teams battling for Champions League supremacy the Catalan giants are the ones most hampered by suspensions.
Add to this the potential omissions due to injury of Thierry Henry and Andres Iniesta and the definite absentee Rafael Marquez and you can see how Barcelona could well be facing a mountain on May 27th. Sir Alex should be able to replace the unlucky Fletcher with numerous potential replacements with Paul Scholes and Anderson springing to mind as best candidates.
So who will win out in Rome? Will it boil down to Messi Vs Ronaldo or are there in fact bigger battles to be fought and won across the park?