Barcelona v Bayer Levkn
- KO 19:45
Champions League Group E
- Venue: Nou Camp
- Date: Tuesday, 29 September
- Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Coverage: Score updates and match report on the BBC Sport website
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi is impossible to replace, boss Luis Enrique said in the build up to Tuesday’s Champions League group game with German side Bayer Leverkusen.
Messi, 28, will be out for seven to eight weeks after
in his left knee during a 2-1 win over Las Palmas on Saturday.
“It’s a challenge for us to be without the best player in the world,” said Enrique on Monday.
“It also provides an incentive for us.”
Messi scored 43 La Liga goals last season in addition to a further 10 in the Champions League as Barca were crowned
The 28-year-old stands second – three behind Real Madrid forward Cristiano Ronaldo – in the list of all-time top scorers in European Cup history on 77 goals.
Four-time Champions League winner Messi may miss eight fixtures, but could return in time to face Real Madrid on 22 November.
“A player like Leo is irreplaceable,” added Enrique.
Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic hopes Messi’s absence will act as a spur for his team-mates.
“Messi’s injury affects us a lot,” said the 27-year-old Croatia international.
“It hurts not to have the best player in the world, but it also serves as motivation to win the games for him.”
Barcelona started the defence of their European crown with a
on 16 September.
Bayer Leverkusen arrive in Spain as Group E leaders after opening the campaign with a 4-1 home win over Belarus champions BATE Borisov.
They are fifth in the Bundesliga with 12 points from seven games, nine behind leaders Bayern Munich.
Striker Javier Hernandez has scored two goals in five appearances since
for £7.3m last month.
Source: BBC Football Read Original Article: Barcelona v Bayer Leverkusen