Ahead of tonight’s game in Glasgow, we take a look at some of the facts and figures surrounding tonight's match
Barça have won two and lost two at Celtic Park. The Scottish champions kept clean sheets in all three home qualifying games.
El FC Barcelona disputa aquest dimarts a la nit (20.45 hores, Canal +) el partit corresponent a la segona jornada de la fase de grups de la Champions. A continuació repassem les dades que envolten el matx:
Ahead of tonight’s Champions League game in Glasgow, we take a look at some of the facts and figures surrounding tonight’s game
• This will be Barça’s fifth game at Celtic Park, with two wins and two defeats so far – 11 goals scored and 8 conceded.
• Celtic Park is, in fact, the only Scottish ground Barça have recorded a win at, having lost 1-0 to Dundee United in the 1986/87 UEFA Cup and been held to a goalless draw at Ibrox against Rangers in the 2007/08 Champions League.
• Three of Barça’s starting eleven from a year ago at Celtic Park will miss the game this time round, with Mascherano, Alba and Messi all out injured.
• Celtic have won seven out of their last nine European games at Celtic Park, with their only defeat coming last year against Juventus (0-3).
• The Scottish champions didn’t concede a single goal in their three home qualifying round games, beating Cliftonville 2-0, Elfsborg 1-0 and Shaktar Karagandy 3-0.
• Steven Mouyokolo was one of Celtic’s big summer signings, but an Aquilles Tendon injury has ruled him out of the Group stages.
• Celtic are second in the Scottish Premiership after seven games, tied on 19 points with Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC, who have played one more game.
• No Barça players are taking a yellow into the game, after the team received no booking sin the 4-0 win over Ajax.
• The game will be refereed by the French official Stéphane Lannoy. This will be his third game in charge of a Barça match, following the 3-1 win against Stuttgart in the 2007/08 competition and the 2-0 victory over Copenhagen in the 2010/11 season. Lannoy has never before taken charge of a Celtic game.
The best images of Celtic FC v FC Barcelona at Celtic Park
20.45, Canal Plus: Barça take on Celtic in the second round of the Champions League group stage in Celtic Park
Martino’s men come into the match after securing the best ever start to a league campaign in club history, but they’ll be without Messi
Barça return to Glasgow to play against Celtic in the second round of the Champions League. Celtic Park is a stadium that Barça know well seeing that the Blaugrana have played there four times in the last decade. The most recent clash between the two teams was played last year, when Barça lost 2-1 in the group stage of the Champions League. It goes without saying that the player know exactly what to expect when they walk out onto the pitch this evening.
Taking the match played in November of 2012 as reference, Barça expect an extraordinary atmosphere in the stands and opponents that will presumably wait in their own half, and poised to make quick counterattacks. Just like last year, Celtic will try to impose its physical style of play and focus on winning set pieces.
Without the No10
Barça have seen it all since the start of this season. From teams that have tried a more aggressive approach to others that have ceded the initiative of the match to the Blaugrana. Up until now Barça have passed each test with flying colours, a fact reflected in the newest record set by the team: the best ever start to the league in Club history. This, along with the Super Cup victory and convincing win over Ajax, shows that Martino’s men come into the match on form.
This time, however, Barça won’t be able to field Leo Messi. The best player in the world picked up a muscle injury during this weekend’s league match against Almería and he’ll be out of action for two to three weeks. Other absences include Jordi Alba, Mascherano, Puyol, Cuenca and Afellay. Newcomers to Barça’s Champions League squad are two Barça B players: Sergi Gómez and Patric.
Celtic come into this evening’s match in need of points. While they sit atop of the table in their league, their defeat away to Milan in the Champions League leave them in need of a victory.
Tata Martino’s trained on the pitch with will host tomorrow’s match between Celtic and FC Barcelona
Nearly a year later, Barça have returned to Celtic Park. This time, however, the Blaugrana hope to avoid a repeat from last year’s 2-1 defeat and come away from Scotland with a better result. The team managed by Tata Martino trained on the pitch of ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League showdown.
All 21 footballers who made the trip from Barcelona participated in the session, among them Barça B players Sergi Gómez and Patric. In the 15 minutes of the session open to the press, the players conducted the usual ‘rondos’ and possession games.
The midfielder talked about last year’s defeat to Celtic and he considers that “we have to have an attacking mentality” tomorrow
Last year’s 2-1 victory over Barça won’t soon be forgotten at Celtic Park. It was a reoccurring theme during Cesc Fàbregas’ pre-match press conference this afternoon as many of the gathered journalists asked questions regarding last year’s showdown. “We learned our lesson last year. It was a good game, but it got away from us because of small details and that’s what we have to try an minimise. We have to play with an attacking mentality,” said Barça’s No4.
For Cesc, these “small details” are “not committing fouls on the wings, or conceding corners, that’s where they are strong.” The midfielder expects Celtic to have the same approach as last season: “We think we know how they will play, and it could be that they will approach the game in the same way they did last year because it worked for them. We’re expecting a relatively similar game.” Cesc also said that Barça lacked “effectiveness” in the 2-1 defeat last year. With that said, he noted that Barça will “try to win without obsessing about last year’s defeat.”
Magical Celtic Park
“Coming to Celtic Park is always tough because of the fans’ enthusiasm, among other things,” said Cesc when asked about what it’s like to play in Celtic’s stadium. Making the task of winning more daunting is Leo Messi’s absence. According to the Catalan, “Messi is the best player in the world, he makes a difference, but he won’t be here and we can’t do anything about that.” He continued: “He’s the player who scores the most and gives the most assists, the rest of us need to take a step forward.”
Cesc’s good form
The midfielder might be called on to play in the Argentine’s position tomorrow. “I’ve adapted well to the three positions that I play in. The most important thing is to win,” he said. “I’m in good physical condition, I have confidence, I know what the boss wants from me. I’m very confident and I try to give it my all,” continued Cesc. He also expects to “maintain this type of consistency throughout the season, to be in good mental and physical condition until the end.”