No Messi for Celtic’s Barcelona match

The Catalans will be without the Argentine for this week’s clash at Celtic Park

Lionel Messi will play no part in Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Celtic next week, after the forward picked up a thigh injury in La Liga action for the Catalans.

Neil Lennon was facing something of a tactical headache at Celtic Park, with the Hoops keen to get points on the board but facing an in-form Messi who has already scored eight goals in just seven league fixtures.

That one concern, at least, looks to have been erased with the news that the forward is set to be sidelined for a minimum of two weeks after sustaining the injury in a 2-0 win against Almeria on Saturday.

Celtic’s hopes of claiming a positive result have been boosted in recent days following the news that Javier Mascherano and now Messi are set to miss out on the game.

Neil Lennon was left disappointed in Matchday One as his brave Celtic side fell to a 2-0 defeat against Serie A giants AC Milan, after creating a series of chances and conceding two goals late on.

A midweek League Cup exit to second division Morton hardly helped things, but the Bhoys appeared to be back on song this Saturday, with Giorgios Samaras grabbing a hat-trick in an impressive 5-2 victory away at Kilmarnock.

They will need to be at their very best against Barcelona though, with the reigning Spanish league champions setting a new club-record for their best ever start to a La Liga season, following last weekend’s win.

Barcelona have endured some difficulties on the road in Europe though, having claimed just two wins in their last eight away day fixtures in the European Cup.

During that time, they also lost four of the eight matches they played away from the Nou Camp in Europe's Premier club competition, including a 2-1 defeat to Celtic last term.

image: © Aitor Escauriaza

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch