Neymar and Luis Suarez showed they are more than capable of scoring goals in the absence of Lionel Messi in the 5-2 win over Rayo Vallecano at the weekend, and the two superstars will want to turn on the style again when Barcelona travel to BATE Borisov to play a Group E match in the UEFA Champions League.
Suarez and Neymar ran the attacking show for Barcelona in the game at the weekend, with the latter grabbing four goals, while the former created more than a few, before adding the gloss to the scoreline.
While Barcelona have, at times, struggled without Messi in the lineup, in Neymar and Suarez they have two world-class forwards good enough to tear any team apart. BATE will know, if they are to stand any chance of taking points from this Champions League match, they will need to keep the two South Americans quiet.
Barcelona started the Champions League with a draw against Roma, but found their winning touch in a 2-1 win over Bayer Leverkusen on Matchday 2. Having played two difficult matches so far in this season's Champions League, Luis Enrique is not taking this match against the Belarusian champions for granted, especially considering BATE are coming off an impressive win over Roma.
"Given the standard of the competition, there are no favourites in games like these," Barcelona manager Luis Enrique was quoted as saying by UEFA's official website. "Everyone can match everyone else.
"BATE have won the Belarusian league for the tenth time in a row, which shows their domestic dominance. We are group leaders but BATE are just one point behind.
"We don't anticipate an easy game. Four years ago Barcelona beat BATE twice but a lot of things have changed since. Just look at Borisov's first half against Roma – that was impressive."
Barcelona won 5-0 and 4-0 when the two teams met in the Champions League a couple of years ago, and BATE manager Aleksandr Yemakovich is confident his team can put in a much-improved performance.
"Four years ago we played against Barcelona but overloaded the team with tactical details," he said. "We gave a lot of information to our players but it did not help as we suffered two big defeats. "Given that negative experience, this time we have decided to limit ourselves to the minimum [tactical talk].
"Our team can feel the big-game excitement, probably the whole of Belarus can feel it. The responsibility is great and we have to play well and show our best. If we want to win, everyone must play at their best. We believe we can do it."
Team news: BATE Borisov: Yemakovich will be without former Barcelona man Aleksandr Hleb, Vitali Rodionov, Maksim Zhavnerchik and Kaspars Dubra.
Barcelona: Apart from Messi, Enrique will also have to do without the services of Andres Iniesta, who is out with a hamstring problem, while Rafinha is another player set to miss out.
Where to Watch Live
Barcelona vs BATE Borisov is scheduled for a 7.45 pm local time (12.15 am IST, 8.45 pm CET, 2.45 pm ET) start. Ten HD will show the match live in India, while the live streaming option is on Ten Sports Live.
Watch the BATE vs Barcelona Group E match in the US on Fox Sports, while the live stream option is on FoxSoccer2Go.
The Champions League Group E game will be shown live in Australia, Middle East, North Africa and France on Bein Sports, while the online live streaming option is on Bein Sports Connect.