Internazionale FC will be without Mohamed Kallon and Stéphane Dalmat for the rest of the second group stage and Domenico Morfeo could also miss the crucial UEFA Champions League visit of Newcastle United FC next month after all three sustained injuries in last night's 0-0 draw against FC Barcelona.
The Group A stalemate against Barça coupled with Newcastle's second successive 3-1 victory against Bayer 04 Leverkusen means the 11 March fixture between the Italian and English clubs will have a huge say on who advances from the section.
Inter coach Héctor Cúper must already be pondering what sort of team he will be able to field at the San Siro. Kallon, the 24-year-old Sierra Leone forward, is definitely unavailable after damaging his left thigh and right achilles tendon against Barcelona. Kallon was substituted in the 34th minute and taken to hospital in Pavia where he underwent surgery. Reports in Italy today suggest he will be out for between 60 and 90 days.
With Hernán Crespo and Nicola Ventola both recovering from injuries, Alvaro Recoba suspended from European competition for two more games, and Gabriel Batistuta ineligible, Cúper is left with just two fit forwards - Christian Vieri and the 18-year-old Nigerian Akinwunmi Martins Obafemi.
French midfield player Dalmat also faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines. He was forced to leave the field in the 16th minute of the second half with a muscle injury and is expected to be out for up to six weeks. In addition to missing the Newcastle match, Dalmat will also sit out the trip to Bayer 04 Leverkusen and at least the quarter-final first leg, should Inter advance.
Domenico Morfeo also picked up a knock but had to play a full match as three changes had already been made. The midfield player has bruised his right thigh and Inter do not expect to be able to use him for two to three weeks. The Inter midfield is also missing Matías Almeyda (broken leg) and Emre Belözoglu (thigh injury). Barcelona need just a point to advance from Group A, while Inter and Newcastle have seven and six points respectively with two matches to play.
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