Champions League

Barca have options even without Messi

2016-09-27 12:36
Lionel Messi (Getty Images)

Barcelona will travel to Borussia Moenchengladbach for their Champions League match on Wednesday without Lionel Messi but the Spaniards have enough options and firepower to plug the gap left by the Argentine, coach Luis Enrique said.

Messi has been sidelined for three weeks with a groin injury but Barca were unaffected by their leader's absence on Saturday, firing five goals past Sporting Gijon in a show of force ahead of their second Group C match.

Their opening game in Europe was even more impressive as the Spaniards crushed Celtic 7-0 to move top of the standings on goal difference ahead of Manchester City, led by their former coach Pep Guardiola.

Barcelona have scored 18 goals in four games since losing 2-1 at home to Alaves on Sepember 10, with Neymar and Luis Suarez in fine form.

"I have different kinds of players and that gives me a lot of options," Luis Enrique said. "Depending on who we are playing and the players I have available, I will pick the ones that I think are right for the situation.

"To lose Messi means that football loses. With Messi we are stronger, but we will continue being strong," he said.

He rested several players on Saturday, including Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Javier Mascherano.

For Barca keeper Marc Andre ter Stegen it will be an emotional return to the club he left in 2014.

"I had a fantastic time there and played for the club my entire career apart for the last two years," Ter Stegen said.

"Borussia are my old love and that will remain so but I identify with Barca 100 percent and on the pitch there is only one club for me."

They will need that focus if they are to get maximum points in Germany and snap Gladbach's 11-match winning streak at home in all competitions following their 2-0 victory over Ingolstadt on Saturday.

Coach Andre Schubert will have Raffael back, the Brazilian having recovered from an adductor injury.

Fit-again creative midfielder Mahmoud Dahoud is also expected to be in the squad after playing against Ingolstadt, as Gladbach look to bounce back from their opening 4-0 defeat at City.

"We are happy to be playing against one of the world's best teams," said defender Oscar Wendt. "And it is even better that they are coming to us on Wednesday."

"But we are no fans of Barcelona and do not want to play a supporting role on the night. We want to give it all we have and make something special out of it."

Read more on:    barcelona  |  la liga  |  lionel messi  |  soccer

What To Read Next


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

01 November 2016
Besiktas v Napoli, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Celtic, Borussia-Park 21:45
Benfica v Dynamo Kyiv, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Barcelona, Etihad Stadium 21:45
PSV v FC Bayern München, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Paris Saint-Germain, St Jakob-Park 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v Arsenal, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v FC Rostov, Vicente Calderon 21:45
02 November 2016
FC Porto v Club Brugge, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Juventus v Lyon, Juventus Stadium 21:45
FC København v Leicester City, Parken Stadion 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Real Madrid, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Sevilla v Dinamo Zagreb, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Sporting Lisbon, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v CSKA Moscow, Stade Louis II 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Wembley 21:45
22 November 2016
CSKA Moscow v Bayer 04 Leverkusen, Arena CSKA 19:00
Sporting Lisbon v Real Madrid, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Leicester City v Club Brugge, King Power Stadium 21:45
Dinamo Zagreb v Lyon, Maksimir 21:45
FC København v FC Porto, Parken Stadion 21:45
Sevilla v Juventus, Ramon-Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Legia Warsaw, Signal Iduna Park 21:45
Monaco v Tottenham Hotspur, Stade Louis II 21:45
23 November 2016
FC Rostov v FC Bayern München, Olimp-2 Stadium 19:00
Besiktas v Benfica, Vodafone Arena 19:45
Borussia Mönchengladbach v Manchester City, Borussia-Park 21:45
Celtic v Barcelona, Celtic Park 21:45
Arsenal v Paris Saint-Germain, Emirates Stadium 21:45
Napoli v Dynamo Kyiv, San Paolo 21:45
Ludogorets Razgrad v FC Basel, Vasil Levski National Stadium 21:45
Atlético de Madrid v PSV, Vicente Calderon 21:45
06 December 2016
FC Bayern München v Atlético de Madrid, Allianz Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Borussia Mönchengladbach, Camp Nou 21:45
Benfica v Napoli, Estadio da Luz 21:45
Manchester City v Celtic, Etihad Stadium 21:45
Dynamo Kyiv v Besiktas, Kiev Olympic Stadium 21:45
Paris Saint-Germain v Ludogorets Razgrad, Parc des Princes 21:45
PSV v FC Rostov, Philips Stadion 21:45
FC Basel v Arsenal, St Jakob-Park 21:45
07 December 2016
Bayer 04 Leverkusen v Monaco, BayArena 21:45
FC Porto v Leicester City, Estadio do Dragao 21:45
Club Brugge v FC København, Jan Breydelstadion 21:45
Juventus v Dinamo Zagreb, Juventus Stadium 21:45
Lyon v Sevilla, Parc OL 21:45
Legia Warsaw v Sporting Lisbon, Pepsi Arena 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v CSKA Moscow, Wembley 21:45
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

Who will be the 2015/16 Champions League top scorer?

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.