All the latest news leading up to this evening’s FC Barcelona v Celtic FC showdown
News, photos, videos and other contents about FC Barcelona v Celtic FC, the Champions League’s match in the Camp Nou:
FC Barcelona – Celtic FC: Top spot up for grabs
FC Barcelona – Celtic: Did you know…?
FC Barcelona’s Scottish contingent
Players gather at team hotel ahead of Celtic clash
Celtic FC return to the Camp Nou
Martino: “the game against Celtic is very important in all aspects”
Sergio Busquets: “we’ve learnt our lesson from last year”
20.45, Canal+ Champions League: Barça need one point against Celtic to secure the top spot of the group
Barça are playing for the top spot of Group H of the Champions League this evening at the Camp Nou against Celtic. These are the current standings after Barça’s defeat to Ajax two weeks ago: Barça 10 points, Milan 8, Ajax 7 and Celtic 3.
Therefore, in order for the team managed by Tata Maritno to finish first, they need to secure one point against the Scots, who are eliminated, or Milan need either draw or lose against Ajax at the San Siro.
International goal 1,000
Another feat Barça hope to accomplish this evening is scoring the team’s 1,000th goal in international competitions. So far they’ve scored 999 goals, 487 of which have been scored in the current format of the Champions League.
Chances are that Leo Messi won’t score it. The Argentinian forward is one of many injured players on the team, along with Valdés, Alves, Dos Santos and Afellay. In addition to the injured players, Cesc will also miss the match due to suspension. It’s not all bad news, however, as Tello, Xavi, and Iniesta have all been declared fit for the match. Tata Martino gathered his 20-man squad, among them Adama and Dongou, at a team hotel yesterday evening. Two players will have to be dropped from the team before kick off.
Celtic, eliminated from European competitions
Celtic FC come into this evening’s match at the Camp Nou already knowing their fate in the Champions League. They have been eliminated from the competition and they also have no options of qualifying for the Europa League. Manager Neil Lennon won’t be able to call on Forrest, Rogic and Kayal.
The Scots have played at the Camp Nou five times in the last ten seasons. Their four previous matches saw them draw twice and lose twice.
Martino’s men will have enough with a draw to guarantee top spot in the group
- FC Barcelona will guarantee top spot with a draw against Celtic.
- This Wednesday’s match will be the tenth against Celtic, the fifth at the Camp Nou, with two wins for Barça and two draws in the four games so far.
- The last game was last year in the group stages, when an injury time goal from Jordi Alba gave Barça a 2-1 win.
- Barça have won both their previous home games in Group H, beating Ajax 4-0 and AC Milan 3-1.
- Celtic have never won at a Spanish La Liga side ground – having lost 10 times and drawn three matches.
- Only one Scottish team has won at the Camp Nou – Dundee United in the 1987 UEFA Cup quarter finals.
- Cesc is suspended after picking up a yellow in the last game, but Alexis is back after missing the Ajax game for the same reason.
- Celtic are unbeaten in their last 17 league games – their best run since 2003/04, when they put together a 32 game unbeaten run.
- The ref for the game is the Russian Sergei Karasev, who will be in charge of a Champions League game for the fifth time, although he has never reffed either Barça or Celtic.
The FC Barcelona player, who’s on loan with Everton this season, is making an impact in the Premier League
The latest La Masia talent to make waves on the international football stage is Gerard Deulofeu. The Catalan, who joined FC Barcelona’s youth academy at the age of nine, is currently honing his talents with Everton on a one-year loan. This past weekend, the forward stunned Emirates Stadium when he riffled the ball past Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny on 83 minutes, four minutes after Mesut Ozil had scored the go-ahead goal for the home team.
Deulofeu’s form in the Premiership comes as no surprise to Everton manager Roberto Martínez. Prior to this weekend’s match, the Spaniard told The Guardian that Deulofeu “has already exceeded my expectations. I thought he would need until at least January to be ready for the English league, so he is well ahead of schedule.”
Martínez added: “I was very pleased Barcelona trusted us with his development. I have been following his career in the Barça B side since he made his debut against Real Madrid at the age of 16. That caught my eye and from that point on it was a matter of pestering Barcelona and being clear about what we could offer.”
After this weekend’s performance against Arsenal, the Catalan, who goes by ‘Geri’ because his “last name is a bit too complicated”, sat down RAC1 to talk about this current chapter in his career.
“I’m very happy to play in the Premier League,” said Deulofeu. “The fans here really love football. It’s incredible how they cheer you on. They are very respectful and they always support you, even fans from opposing teams.”
In addition to enjoying English football culture, the Catalan noted that he’s pleased with how things have developed with his new team: “I knew that [coming to Everton] would be difficult, I’m young and I still have a lot to learn. Roberto [Martínez] is doing a marvelous job. He gives me confidence and I’m very happy. Hopefully, little by little, I’ll get a bit more playing time.”
Lastly, the forward was asked about his expectations for next season, when his loan with Everton expires: “I’m here for a season, and after that I’m a Barça player. I want to enjoy this experience. I’m only focused on this season. Whatever comes in the future, will come in its own time.”
- GALERIA DE FOTOS