Lionel Messi injury is Neymar's chance

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Although they have been denying it is a motivation on their trip to Glasgow this week, Barcelona's players will have revenge on their minds when they face Celtic on Tuesday night.

Last season saw the Scottish champions pull off a memorable victory at Celtic Park with goals from Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt making Lionel Messi's late strike not enough to salvage anything for the Catalan club.

Messi will not be present this time around as he picked up a thigh injury after scoring his eighth goal in six La Liga matches in the 2-0 victory over Almeria on Saturday.

Barcelona always miss their star man when he is absent but his expected three-week absence, and especially the match with Celtic, will provide another of their talents to move into the foreground.

Neymar moved to Camp Nou in a deal worth around £50million this summer after four sensational years with Santos in his native Brazil. His arrival was accompanied by great fanfare and much has been expected of the 21-year-old.

Orchestrating Brazil's demolition of Spain in the Confederations Cup final this summer meant expectation on Neymar was ratcheted up to even greater levels, but he has so far made modest start to his Catalan adventure.

While Messi has once again started a season scoring goals at an incredible rate Neymar has only found the net twice, though his four assists are the fourth highest in La Liga, and he is yet to really make his mark on the team.

An unused substitute on Saturday, he will likely be restored to the starting XI by manager Gerardo Martino against Celtic and it will be the perfect opportunity for him to step out of the Argentinian's shadow.

Barcelona have an embarrassment of riches at their disposal but Messi is undoubtedly the main man and most of their play designed to bring the best out of him, which is understandable as he is the world's best player.

But it has meant the new darling of Brazilian football and the nation's hope for glory in the World Cup they will host next year has been forced to take on a supporting role.

What better venue to show he can eventually succeed Messi as Barcelona's main threat by doing what he could not do and win at Celtic Park. Of course, it will be easier said than done if Neil Lennon's side put up a rearguard action similar to that of last year.

The next three weeks could see Neymar made the focal point of the Barcelona attack and will give him the chance to show he can cary the side in Messi's absence.

Barcelona fans will be keen to see if there is a worthy successor to Messi, even though he is only 26 and still has numerous years left at the top of the game. His powers will eventually begin to wain as het gets older and teams begin to work out how to stop him, so someone to fill his boots will be essential.

Neymar has already shown glimpses that he revels in the limelight and he has a small opportunity over the next three weeks to showcase his potential to become the world's greatest.

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