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Luis Enrique before the press conference / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Ahead of the game against Bayer Leverkusen, Luis Enrique appeared before the press on Monday with the main talking points the visit of the Bundesliga side in the Champions League and the absence of Leo Messi for the next seven or eight weeks.

On their German opponents, the Barça coach said: “Bayer are a very intense team, they defend very well and they are strong physically. They did really well last season in the Champions League and they will cause us problems.” The Asturian added: “It’s a key game in the group. It is an attractive fixture.”

With regards to the absence of Leo Messi, the blaugrana coach made it clear that he is “irreplaceable.” Nevertheless, the Barça coach said: “It’s a stimulus and a challenge to achieve objectives without the best player. We have to be at our best.”

Other comments from Luis Enrique during the press conference:

Bayer Leverkusen

“We are always looking to control the game and to find our opponents’ weak points. I am sure they will cause us problems.”

“They are a different kind of side to most other German teams.”

“It will be a tough game in every sense and we will have to play very well.”

“If you want to win the group you have to perform at home.”

The absence of Messi

“Every week we think about changing our system according to playing missing and what we can do. We will have the same idea as with other players.”

“It not a case of stepping up, everyone just has to be themselves.”

Injury news

“Claudio Bravo has trained with the group for the last two days and Jordi Alba could come in, we will see if we can count on them.”

“Adriano has not trained because he picked up a knock against Las Palmas. It will be difficult for him to be considered.”

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