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Barcelona tries to keep winning form without Messi

By AP - Sep 27,2016 - Last updated at Sep 27,2016

MADRID — Neymar and Luis Suarez will lead the attack again when Barcelona visits Borussia Moenchengladbach in its first Champions League game since losing Lionel Messi to an injury.

Barcelona has won only once in its last six matches against Bundesliga teams in Germany.

Another German club with an important match against Spanish opposition is Bayern Munich, which plays at Atletico Madrid in a rematch of last season’s semifinals.

Here’s a look at Wednesday’s matches in the Champions League:

Group A

Three months after playing against each other at the European Championship, the Xhaka brothers meet again.

Granit Xhaka should line-up for Arsenal against his older brother Taulant, a defender for Swiss team Basel. At Euro 2016, Granit played for Switzerland while Taulant featured for Albania after switching his international allegiance in 2013.

Both teams started with 1-1 draws, although Arsenal got the result at Paris Saint-Germain in possibly the English team’s toughest match in the group.

PSG, still without injured winger Hatem Ben Arfa, is away to Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad.

Group B

Napoli was the only group winner in the opening round and has a chance to solidify its lead when it hosts Benfica.

The Italian side will be relying on 22-year-old Poland forward Arkadiusz Milik, who has filled in admirably after Gonzalo Higuain’s Italian-record transfer to Juventus for 90 million euros ($99 million). He scored both goals in the comeback win at Dynamo Kiev and added two more two-goal matches in Serie A.

Benfica, which conceded a late equaliser to Besiktas at home in its opener, is likely to remain without forward Jonas because of an injury.

Dynamo Kiev will try to rebound at Besiktas.

Group C

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen will be making an emotional return to his hometown of Moenchengladbach.

Ter Stegen made 108 Bundesliga appearances for Borussia from 2011-14.

Celtic lost 7-0 to Ter Stegen’s Barcelona in the opener, and things don’t get much easier for the Scottish champions.

Next up for Celtic is Manchester City, which is on a 10-match winning run under new coach Pep Guardiola. One of its best performances so far was a 4-0 win over Borussia Moenchengladbach.

City will be without one of its leading players, Kevin De Bruyne, because of a hamstring injury.

Group D

Bayern’s last three trips to Spain all ended in defeats and elimination in the semifinals of the Champions League. It happened against Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, its opponent again on Wednesday.

Captain Philipp Lahm downplayed any talk of revenge for the match at the Vicente Calderon Stadium.

 

Rostov hosts PSV Eindhoven in Russia in the other group match.

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