Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi sits on the ground (L) before leaving the pitch during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Atletico de Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on September 21, 2016. / AFP / PAU BARRENA
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A Barcelona side missing injured Lionel Messi face Sporting Gijon in the first of three away games in a week, as they battle to keep pace with leaders Real Madrid Saturday.Messi suffered the recurrence of a groin strain in Wednesday's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid that will keep the five-time World Player of the Year sidelined for the next three weeks.However, Spanish champions Barca have three tricky obstacles to overcome in the next week as they head also to Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League Wednesday before another away trip to Celta Vigo next Sunday.Without Messi, Barca's other two star forwards Luis Suarez and Neymar will be expected to take on extra responsibility – just as they did in scoring 16 goals in the six league games Messi missed during a two-month injury layoff last season.
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