Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has admitted he will need to tinker with his tactics after losing superstar Lionel Messi for up to eight weeks.
The Argentina captain has suffered a knee injury and will miss the next couple of months after picking up the problem in last weekend’s 2-1 La Liga win over Las Palmas.
Messi is famously used in Enrique’s three-pronged attack along with Brazil ace Neymar and Uruguay hit-man Luis Suarez, but now the Nou Camp chief will be forced to change things up.
“It is always sad when a player is injured. In the case of Messi it is not necessary for me to say what we all know: that he is very important to the team,” Enrique said.
“Without Messi we lose a lot of things from our style of play so we will now have to rearrange collectively but I have no doubt that we will overcome this.”
The loss of Messi brings into focus Barcelona’s decision to allow Pedro to join Chelsea in the summer, with the Catalans currently under a transfer embargo so any new signings cannot play for them until January.
Barca entertain Bayer Leverkusen in the Champions League on Tuesday night and are 1.40 to pick up their first win of this season’s group stage following an opening 1-1 draw at Roma on September 16.
The Germans are 8.50 to take all three points from the Group E clash, with the draw at 4.75.