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Celta goalkeeper Alvarez warns of Barcelona threats

Celta VigoCelta Vigo
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Celta Vigo are full of admiration for Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi but know they cannot afford to focus only on him when the two in-form sides meet on Wednesday.

Barca, travelling to Balaidos looking to maintain their perfect start to the season and in the process end Celta's unbeaten run, warmed up for the midweek encounter with a 4-1 triumph on Sunday over Levante.

Messi scored twice and set up another goal in that match and Celta know just how big a threat the 28-year-old - who recorded 60 goals and 28 assists in Barca's treble-winning season last term - poses to their chances of getting something out of Wednesday's clash.

However, the Galician side are also well aware that Barca are no one-man team.

Celta goalkeeper Sergio Alvarez said to Marca: "I'm not going to be the one to discover Messi now considering all that he has done in football and what he has yet to achieve.

"Messi makes the difference. However, if you only focus on stopping him, then you have another player that comes back at you and makes the difference.

"Barca are not just Messi, it's the entire team.

"They not only won La Liga but are also defending champions of Europe.

"The key is for us to play as a team more than ever.

"We need everyone to help out in defence and then contribute in attack."

Barca are the only side in La Liga boasting a 100 per cent winning record after four games this season, and sit two points at the top of the standings.

Celta have made an impressive start as well, though, and have picked up 10 points from a possible 12, leaving them level with Real Madrid and Villarreal as Barca's nearest challengers.

It would have been four wins out of four for Eduardo Berizzo's men but they surrendered a 3-1 lead at home to 10-man Las Palmas to draw 3-3 in round three.

Despite their good form, which included an impressive 2-1 victory at Europa League champions Sevilla on Sunday, Alvarez says they cannot afford to get carried away.

"We need to keep our feet on the ground because there is a long way to go," he said. "We can't forget what happened last season when we had a good start but we went through a rough patch."

Spanish forward Nolito, who was linked to Barcelona this summer, scored his fourth goal on Sunday and will lead Celta's attack.

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique, who led Celta in the 2013-14 campaign before taking charge at the Nou Camp, says his old team has a lot of flair.

"Celta are one of the most entertaining teams to watch, not just in Spain but in Europe," he said to Marca. "This is an extremely complicated game for us because of the characteristics of our opponents and Celta's current form.

"It's a very attractive game and a very interesting one for us."

Jordi Alba, Andres Iniesta and Luis Suarez, who rested at the weekend, are expected to start on Wednesday.

Moreover, Barca will be bolstered by the return of Gerard Pique with the Spain defender having completed his four-match suspension.


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