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Apr 26, 2011

Iniesta ruled out

Barcelona will be without Andres Iniesta for their Champions League semi-final first leg against Real Madrid on Wednesday.

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Pep Guardiola confirmed at his pre-match press conference that Iniesta - who escaped a UEFA suspension after being accused of picking up a deliberate booking against Shakhtar Donetsk - will take no part in the game at the Bernabeu due to a calf injury.

Iniesta did not train on Monday and was forced out after only ten minutes of Tuesday's session, and Guardiola said: "Iniesta is 100% out."

Asked if Iniesta would be fit for next week's second leg, Guardiola said: "We hope that he will be recovered. As for who will play in his place, I don't know. I don't have many players to pick from but someone will step in and we'll see what we can do.

"I feel confident about the players we have. We are coming here proud to defend our style of play, with 12 home-grown players and set to face a team in the semi-finals who have nine European Cups and seven great forwards."

It is a significant blow for Barca, who already had an injury crisis at left-back with Eric Abidal, Adriano and Maxwell all out, while striker Bojan Krkic could miss the rest of the season and Carles Puyol and Gabriel Milito have both been struggling.

Puyol and Milito, though, both came through Tuesday's training session with no problems.

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