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Tuesday, 01 October 2013 13:02

Messi missing in the Champions League

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Lionel Messi will miss Barcelona’s Champions League Group match against Celtic in Glasgow due to a strain on his right thigh muscle.

The Barcelona forward will be out for up to three weeks after picking up the injury in their 2-0 win against Almeria last weekend. This is the second injury the player has incurred for the new season, with him already out due to a bruised left thigh. Celtic manager Neil Lennon has already stated his disappointment over Messi not being able to play, but the reality is that he and Celtic supporters will be hoping this will give them the opportunity to have a better chance of inflicting another defeat on the Spanish club.

Anyone fancying Celtic chances will enjoy generous prices from online sports betting operator bet365, who have Celtic priced 8/1 to win tonight. There is no doubt that it will still be a tall order to overcome the mighty Barcelona, as the Catalan club will still have the services of many world class players like Cesc Fabregas and Brazilian star Neymar. They have been in near perfect form this season, with seven wins on the trot and beat Ajax 4-0 in their first Champions League Group H game. More importantly, the Spanish team has been defending well and have been keeping clean sheets, this is in spite of the absence of Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Carlos Puyol.

Neil Lennon and Celtic have already proven that Barcelona are not perfection and can be defeated on any given day. However, it will be far from easy and the Scottish team will need a fair bit of fortune for things to go their way. Georgios Samaras will also need to be firing on all cylinders, and should be one to look out for, with him being on form as he scored a hat trick against Kilmarnock. I am hoping that home supporters will be able to witness a great game and enjoy the night, especially with the tremendous welcome given to players like Barcelona’s Neymar.

Can Celtic do it again, and make it through to the last 16 in the Champions League and maybe even improve on what they achieved last season? Stranger things have happened!