The rest of Barcelona’s squad will have to do “a little bit more” to make up for the absence of five-times World Player of the Year Lionel Messi for the next three weeks, according to captain Andres Iniesta. The Argentina forward faces a spell on the sidelines after sustaining a groin injury in Wednesday’s 1-1 La Liga draw with Atletico Madrid.

Third-placed Barca, who won eight of their 10 games when a knee injury kept Messi out for two months last season, are three points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid. Zinedine Zidane’s Real, who missed out on a La Liga record 17th straight victory when they drew 1-1 with Villarreal on Wednesday, visit Las Palmas on Saturday.

Real talisman Cristiano Ronaldo failed to find the net against Villarreal but Zidane was unconcerned. Las Palmas striker Kevin-Prince Boateng was sent off in a 4-1 defeat at Real Sociedad on Wednesday and is suspended. Atletico host Deportivo La Coruna on Sunday and will be in positive mood following Angel Correa’s second-half equalizer against Barca.

Second-placed Sevilla travel on Saturday to Athletic Bilbao who are riding a three-game winning streak in La Liga. Unbeaten Sevilla, 1-0 winners over city rivals Real Betis on Tuesday, are two points behind Real Madrid after five matches.

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