Barcelona will be going into the champions league encounter against Celtic without star player Lionel Messi, who had to be substituted early on in the match against Almeria during the weekend. He has suffered a muscle injury, which troubled him during the early parts of his Barcelona career. Messi has been one of the – if not the best – player in the world over the last few years. He has won four FIFA Ballon d’Or awards in succession, which is a record. Undoubtedly, every team will miss the services of such a player.

Cesc Fabregas, though, have said that it is up to the other players in the team to rise up to the challenge and play well in the absence of Messi. Fabregas will know all about Celtic after having played against the Scottish club numerous times while at Barcelona and at his former club Arsenal. Barcelona also lost to Celtic at Celtic Park last season, which will be in the memories. A victory for Barcelona will put them on step closer towards qualification already after having secured a 4-0 win over Ajax in the first group match.

Milan are expected to be the main challengers in the group, but they are also in a poor run of form. It is now in the hands of Barcelona to run away with the group.

“Messi is the best player in the world, he makes a difference, but he won’t play (against Celtic). We can’t do anything about that. Without Messi, we will all have to take more responsibility. We have to step up, don’t feel his absence and play football without him. I might have more offensive responsibilities. I will try and help the team as a striker or whatever other position I play. Now I feel confident, in good shape and the manager trusts me,” said Fabregas.