Leanne Ross, the Glasgow City captain is expected to miss the rest of the season after it was confirmed that she broke a bone in her right foot in the Uefa Women's Champions League win over Glentoran on Monday night.
The Scottish champions need to beat FC Zhilstroy at Airdrie's Excelsior Stadium this afternoon (kick off 4pm) if they are to qualify automatically for the last 32, but will have to do so without two of their most influential players. Attacking midfielder Suzanne Lappin injured a shoulder in the opening Group 4 match against Nove Zamky and is likely to be out for four weeks.
"Leanne [pictured] is confirmed as a break," said Eddie Wolecki Black, City's head coach. "Sue's shoulder popped out and back in again, but the tendon has been stretched." Ross will miss Scotland's crucial World Cup qualifier against Sweden next month, although Lappin could be fit in time.
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A draw today will be enough to send Ukrainian champions Zhilstroy into the knock-out stages as they have the better goal difference. Nevertheless, and despite being without his two leading goalscorers in European competition, Wolecki Black remains confident that his side will be competing in the last 32 for a fourth successive season.
The City coach took a calculated gamble in making eight changes for the game against Glentoran, which means his first-choice players should be more energetic than their opponents today. Zhilstroy used ten of the same players for their Saturday and Monday matches.
"Obviously we are going to be fresher," Wolecki Black said. "It's virtually impossible to maintain a high level of performance when you're playing three games in six days.
"We're at home and the players are well rested. I know Zhilstroy are the toughest side we are going to face but, if we have any aspirations to qualify in Europe, we should be beating them."