Barcelona will have to do without star player Lionel Messi, who is set to be out for seven-eight weeks after suffering knee ligament damage, in the important Group E Champions League clash against Bayer Leverkusen at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.
Bayer Leverkusen will be relieved to see Messi out of action, as the Argentine had scored five goals past them when they squared off in 2012, resulting in a humiliating 7-1 loss for the German side.
The Spanish champions have to rely on the services of the other two forwards, Neymar and Luis Suarez, at home this time around. Apart from the duo, Barcelona still look strong, with players like Andreas Iniesta to thread perfect balls for Suarez and Neymar.
Barcelona, who drew against Roma in their last game, will be eager to get their first three points against Bayer Leverkusen, who sit on top of Group E standings after defeating BATE 4-1. Luis Enrique, the Barcelona manager, expects a tricky game against Leverkusen.
"Bayer Leverkusen defend pretty well, they are very strong physically and they put in a good performance in this competition last season. Bayer are a bit different to the rest of the Bundesliga teams, so it is going to be a tricky match," UEFA official website quoted Enrique as saying.
Enrique, who has always looked to Messi for goals, will miss their talismanic player as the manager believes the Argentine is irreplaceable.
"Leo Messi is irreplaceable. We have to try and play the same way with different players, and the challenge of being competitive without our best player is an attractive one for us," said Enrique.
Enrique's men bounced back strongly in their La Liga campaign after being thrashed 4-1 by Celta Vigo, as they defeated Las Palmas 2-1 in their last fixture. They are currently second in La Liga, while Bayer Leverkusen, who defeated Werder Bremen 3-0 in their last match, are fifth in the Bundesliga.
Bayer Leverkusen have been inconsistent in their domestic competition so far, as they have lost three of their seven games. Their coach, Roger Schmidt, wants his team to be compact against Barca.
"We will do our best and we have faith in our abilities, which are to play compactly in defence and to attack with a lot of precision. We will try to score a goal. If we are able to score we can get something positive here," said Schmidt.
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Barcelona vs Bayer Leverkusen mega clash has been scheduled for a 8:45pm local time (12:15am IST, 7:45pm BST, 2:45pm ET) start with live Tv coverage for Indian viewers on Ten HD with live streaming on Ten Sports Live.
Football fans in the UK can watch Barcelona vs Bayer Leverkusen game live on BT Sport Extra with live streaming option on Watch BT Sport.
US viewers can enjoy the champions league game -- Barcelona vs Bayer Leverkusen – live on Fox Sports 1, while the live stream option is on FoxSoccer2Go.
Viewers in Africa can watch the Barcelona vs Bayer Leverkusen game live on Supersport 5 Africa.