Real ready to move Beckam to the right

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David Beckham is likely to be asked to give up his central midfield role when Real Madrid play at rejuvenated Espanyol tonight. Luis Figo misses the game with a bruised foot, and Real coach Jose Antonio Camacho is expected to move Beckham, who had a poor game in Real's midweek Champions League thrashing at Bayer Leverkusen, to the right-hand side.

David Beckham is likely to be asked to give up his central midfield role when Real Madrid play at rejuvenated Espanyol tonight. Luis Figo misses the game with a bruised foot, and Real coach Jose Antonio Camacho is expected to move Beckham, who had a poor game in Real's midweek Champions League thrashing at Bayer Leverkusen, to the right-hand side.

Beckham's normal midfield partner Ivan Helguera, is likely to be pushed back into the centre of defence with Camacho giving a chance to Guti and Albert Celades to take control in the middle. Zinedine Zidane is out for up to three weeks after dislocating his shoulder on Wednesday and is likely to be replaced by Santiago Solari.

Michael Owen will be vying with Ronaldo, Fernando Morientes a below-par Raul for the two berths up front and may get his first start. "I'm expecting the players to react positively after Wednesday's defeat," Camacho said. "Great teams and quality players know how to pick themselves up and fight back. We shouldn't over-dramatise what has happened. We lost convincingly but it doesn't mean we are out of the competition. "

Roberto Carlos put it more succinctly: "Less Samba-style football and more hard work is what we need."

The game of the weekend in Spain is Barcelona's visit to Atletico Madrid tomorrow. Both have been in irresistible form so far, Barca's brilliant play matched by the excellent form of Fernando Torres and Ariel Ibagaza in Atletico's attack. "It's going to be a great night," said Atletico's Argentine midfielder Diego Simeone. "We'll be up against the team that's playing the best football in the Spanish league."

Meanwhile in Italy, the return to league action has been overshadowed by the terrible scenes at Roma on Tuesday night when referee Anders Frisk was struck by a missile.

On the playing side champions Milan, who dropped points on the opening weekend, will be looking to rebound at Bologna, but must do so without their Brazilian keeper Dida was sent off early in the game and he is suspended.

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