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With Messi Injured, Barcelona Is Not The Same Team – Rakitic

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midfielder Ivan has said it is “very different” playing without injured talisman Lionel .

Messi has missed Barca’s last three games including last weekend’s 4-3 loss at Celta Vigo, but has started running again this week.

Coach Luis Enrique has given those of his players not with their national teams time off until Monday, but Diario Sport said Messi would be at the Ciutat Esportiva training ground on Friday and Saturday.

Barcelona hope the Argentine will be back for next Saturday’s La Liga game against Deportivo La Coruna after their initial diagnosis that he would be out for three weeks.

Raktic told Sport: “It’s very different [the team with and without Messi] — one is nothing like the other.

“We know the importance Leo has for us, but there’s a squad and we have to continue moving forward. But it’s very different playing without Leo — you don’t have be very smart to know that.”

Along with Messi, it is hoped that defender Samuel Umtiti will be fit for Depor’s visit.

The Frenchman injured his knee in training ahead of September’s draw with Atletico Madrid, but trained this week.

However, Barca have been dealt a new injury blow with Friday’s news that Jordi Alba has left the Spain camp with a hamstring problem sustained in the World Cup qualifying draw with Italy.

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