Spain defender Alba to miss WC qualifier vs France
BARCELONA, Spain (AP)
Barcelona defender Jordi Alba will be sidelined for 7-10 days with a leg injury, ruling him out of Spain's World Cup qualifier against France on Tuesday.
The Spanish club said on Sunday that the left back will also be a doubt for the first leg of Barcelona's Champions League quarterfinal at Paris Saint-Germain on April 2.
Alba injured a muscle in his right leg during Spain's 1-1 draw with Finland on Friday. The former Valencia player played in 35 games for Barcelona since joining last off-season.
He was a regular for Spain last summer when the world champions won their second straight European championship.
Spain trails France by two points in Group I. The game in Paris could go a long way to determining which team wins the group and the automatic berth for the 2014 World Cup, with the runner-up facing a playoff.
Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal is Alba's likely replacement.
''I don't consider the game against France a final, but it will be important for me because Jordi Alba's absence opens the door for me to play,'' Monreal said. ''Even though it's early to call it a must-win game, we are aware that there is little margin for error. The good thing is that we still control our fate.''