All available first team players plus Barça B's Sergi Roberto and Tello trained at the Camp Nou this morning

Tito Vilanova / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
All available first team players plus Barça B’s Sergi Roberto and Tello trained at the Camp Nou this morning

The 18 players named to the squad by Tito Vilanova for this evening’s match against Celtic Glasgow trained this morning at the Camp Nou. It was a light sessions for the 16 available first team players and Barça B’s Sergi Roberto and Tello. Sergio Busquets, who is suspended for the match, also trained with the team.

Resting at the team hotel

The players are currently resting at the team hotel, where they’ll stay until kick off time. The match at the Camp Nou is scheduled to start at 20.45 (TV3 and La 1).

FC Barcelona-Celtic Glasgow: Battle for top spot

Alexis at Da Luz. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
20.45, TV3 and La 1: Barça and Glasgow Celtic go head to head in a match that will have a huge bearing on the final outcome of group G of the Champions League

Tito Vilanova will once again have to shuffle his defensive pack due to Busquets being suspended

La baixa del sancionat Busquets farà recompondre, de nou, l’entramat defensiu a Tito Vilanova

Barça have a great chance tonight to set themselves well on course not just for a place in the last sixteen of the Champions League, but also securing first place in their group. After two matches, they are top with the maximum six points and this evening’s visitors to the Camp Nou are Glasgow Celtic, who are second with four points. If FCB win tonight, they will move five points clear of their closest rival, with three games left to play.

Defensive changes

The spectacular 5-4 win at Riazor on Saturday showed just how much firepower Barça have up front, but also reflected the unsettled nature of the defence, which is suffering from a worrying number of absentees. Against Celtic, Barça will be missing all of Alves, Puyol, Piqué, Abidal and Muniesa due to fitness, while Busquets has a suspension to serve after being red carded at the Stadium of Light. That means Alex Song will almost certainly have to take Busquet’s place in midfield, leaving Vilanova with one less potential defender to choose from. Mascherano, Bartra and Adriano are the most likely choices at centre back, assuming the manager opts for his usual 4-3-3 system.

Celtic return

Celtic, meanwhile, are comfortably poised at the top of the Scottish Premier League, in which they are the overwhelming favourites since the demotion of their traditional rivals Rangers. The ‘hoops’ showed their dominance in emphatic fashion last weekend with a 5-0 win away to St Mirren. What’s more, their win at Spartak Moscow finally put an end to their ‘curse’ in Champions league away matches. They have a decent record in games in this competition at the Camp Nou, having drawn 1-1 in 2004 and only been narrowly defeated, 1-0, in 2008.

Xavi Hernández, the man who scored the only goal in the last meeting between the Scots and Catalans, the second leg of the round of 16 in the 07/08 season, will be making his 150th appearance in international competitions this evening.

Barça v Celtic: Did you know…

Messi, contra el Celtic (2007/08). FOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
There is plenty of trivia surrounding the game between the only two unbeaten sides in Champions League group G, and here is a selection of some of the best:

– The two sides have met four times at the Camp Nou, with two Barça win (1964/65 and 2007/08 season) and two draws (2003/04 and 2004/05 seasons).

– FC Barcelona has entertained Scottish teams five times, and the only time they lost was 2-1 to Dundee United in the 1986/87 season.

– Barça have not lost a home Champions League match for three years, the last defeat being 2-1 to Rubin Kazan. Since then they have won 14 and drawn three.

– Celtic have never won away to a Spanish league club. So far, they have lost nine and drawn three.

– Xavi Hernández has completed 236 of his 266 passes this season and is top in that category. Busquets and Mascherano are second and third in the same ranking.

– But Busquets will be missing from tonight’s game after getting sent off in the last match at Benfica.

– Celtic’s Wanyama is one yellow card short of a suspension.

– Celtic’s win at Spartak was their first in 21 Champions League away matches.

Fist team prepares for Champions League showdown with Celtic FC

Leo Messi training at the Camp Nou / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The first team trained this Monday afternoon at the Camp Nou in preparation for tomorrow’s match against Celtic. Tito Vilanova revealed his 18-man list – 16 of whom are first team players, plus Tello and Seri Roberto – after the session

The team

Valdés, Pinto, Cesc, Xavi, Villa, Iniesta, Alexis, Messi, Jonathan dos Santos, Mascherano, Bartra, Pedro, Alba, Montoya, Adriano, Song, Tello and Sergi Roberto

4,730 Celtic fans

4,730 Celtic supporters will be at the Camp Nou to watch the match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC. Many of the Scottish fans made their way to the stadium this afternoon to check out the Club’s installations ahead of tomorrow’s match.

Tito Vilanova named 18 players to the team ahead of this Tuesday’s match against Celtic FC (20.45). The manager revealed his list after this afternoon’s training session at the Camp Nou. Sergio Busquets, who is suspended for tomorrow’s match, is the main absentee. In addition to Busquets, Alves, Piqué, Puyol, Thiago, Cuenca and Muniesa will also miss the match. Tello, one of the goal-scorers against Deportivo, and Sergi Roberto were both named to the team.

Alves and Puyol, train on the pitch

The first team trained at the Camp Nou this afternoon ahead of tomorrow’s Champions League showdown. In addition to the available players, Dani Alves and Carles Puyol trained on the pitch. The two players worked apart from the group as they continue their respective recovery regiments. Gerard Piqué worked out in the gym.

After the session the players gathered at Hotel Aris. This Tuesday, at 12.00, the team will hold a closed-door training session at the Camp Nou.