Cesc Fabregas is expected to act in place of Lionel Messi in Barcelona’s attack tonight at Celtic, with fitness doubts over Adriano.

Tata Martino is expected to pull no surprises in naming his starting XI tonight to face the Scottish League outfit in the Champions League, in part down to a number of defensive absentees and due also to Messi’s absence.

With the Argentine forward ruled out at the weekend with a thigh injury that will likely sideline him for between two and three weeks, it is expected that Fabregas will step into a ‘false 9’ role in attack.

The former Arsenal man is expected to be flanked by Pedro Rodriguez and Neymar on the wings and backed by a midfield of Xavi Hernandez, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta.

Defence is where some uncertainty on final selection lies, with Adriano seen as still in slight discomfort with an adductor injury picked up at the weekend at Almeria.

Should the Brazilian not make the match at Celtic Park, then Martin Montoya is seen as likely to deputise at full-back, alongside Gerard Pique, Marc Bartra and Dani Alves. Victor Valdes will keep goal.

Probable Barcelona XI to face Celtic: Valdes; Alves, Bartra, Pique, Adriano; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Pedro, Fabregas, Neymar

Tags Celtic Fabregas Messi