Houghton picked up an injury, cited as in the Achilles area during the match with Fiorentina at the start of March. Although the extent of her injury is still unknown, Houghton has subsequently missed City’s WSL victories over Everton and Bristol City, as well as the return Champions League match in Italy, where the blues won 5-0.
Manager Gareth Taylor explained that it was difficult to see when Houghton will be back in action. “It is one we anticipated would have settled down by now. It’s not settled down as quickly as we would have liked, or certainly what Steph would have liked.
“She is obviously really disappointed to not be here with the team. We’re hoping it’s not too far away. We will always look at what the right thing is to do for the player.”
While Houghton’s presence will be missed at the heart of the City defence, USA star Abby Dahlkemper is more than capable of replacing her for the Barca match. “Abby’s a big game player. She’s played in big games. I’m sure it’s one that she’ll cope with no problem.”
The blues will face Barca at the Brianteo Stadium, Monza, Italy with an 1130 kick-off time, with the return leg to be held in Manchester on 31st March, as they look to qualify for the semi-final for the third time.