Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique are expected to be ready to face Celtic on Wednesday night (23 November) after the Barcelona key duo have shaken off their respective fitness concerns. Luis Enrique confirmed the good news in his Tuesday's press conference while refusing to take anything for granted despite the Catalans beating Brendan Rodgers' side 7-0 in the reverse fixture earlier in September.
Messi missed the weekend draw with Malaga after Barcelona revealed at the very last minute that the Argentinian star "was not feeling well and had vomited". Pique, meanwhile, completed the 90 minutes of that game as he was making his first appearance for the club since suffering an ankle injury during the 4-0 victory over Manchester City on 19 October.
The Argentinian star played down the concerns on Monday when he returned to training with the rest of his available teammates as Barcelona began the preparations to face Celtic. However, Pique set alarms bells ringing at the Nou Camp once again after missing that session, amid suggestions the Spaniard had suffered a recurrence of his ankle injury during the draw with Malaga.
Luis Enrique thus included 21-year-old Marlon Santos from the second team in his 20-man travelling squad to face Celtic, as Samuel Umtiti and Jeremy Mathieu are both ruled out for the game due to injuries, leaving Javier Mascherano as the only other first-team centre-back available.
But Pique was back in training at Celtic Park on Tuesday night with the other 19 players who travelled to Glasgow and Luis Enrique confirmed that both him and Messi are expected to feature against the Bhoys.
"(Piqué) did not train on Monday due to something picked up against Malaga but is available to play," the Barcelona boss said while adding that the Argentine "is training perfectly and is definitely at 100% to give the best version of himself."
Barcelona will book a place in the Champions League last 16 if they win at Celtic Park, while even a draw could be enough for them should Manchester City not lose to Borussia Monchengladbach. Luis Enrique, who also has Luis Suarez back after missing the weekend game due to suspension, has warned his side against complacency as he expects a very different Celtic to the one they beat 7-0 at the Nou Camp in September.
"The game will be nothing like the one in the first round," Luis Enrique said. "Celtic will remain loyal to their philosophy and we must be attentive to a game of high magnitude. They will be similar to the two home games they played against Manchester City and Borussia Mönchengladbach."
"It will be special because they are a great club with a spectacular atmosphere and we must enjoy it to the fullest and give the best possible account of ourselves. The team has the chance to qualify and therefore we must win."