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Celtic v Barcelona: Lionel Messi fit for Parkhead clash

Lionel Messi: fit for Celtic clash. Picture: Getty

Lionel Messi: fit for Celtic clash. Picture: Getty

LIONEL Messi has been passed as fit to line up for Barcelona against Celtic on Wednesday night, after an injury scare during the Catalan club’s victory over Celta Vigo at the weekend.

The Spanish league leaders defeated the Galician side 3-1, but suffered a major scare when leading scorer Messi collapsed to the turf holding his knee.

Defender Adriano had already been substituted after sustaining an injury, and will be sidelined for three weeks with a torn groin muscle, but Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova allayed supporters’ fears over their talismanic striker’s fitness.

Vilanova said: “Messi is fine. After speaking to our doctor I can tell you he has only suffered a blow on his knee.

“At first we were concerned he had twisted his knee but it was only a knock.”

Vilanova also revealed that defender Gerard Pique could return for the Champions League clash after a spell on the sidelines. The Catalan giants have had makeshift defensive pairings in recent weeks, with defensive midfielder Javier Mascherano dropping back to partner 21-year-old Marc Bartra or, in Saturday’s game, fellow defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets.

Vilanova added: “For the Celtic game, Pique is a possiblity. But clearly Adriano’s injury is another worry for us.”

Adriano’s injury sees Barcelona down to five fit defenders including Pique, as the Brazilian joins Carles Puyol, Marc Muniesa and Eric Abidal on the sidelines. Thiago Alcantara and Isaac Cuenca are also out injured.

 

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