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.

Tito Vilanova: "We need to recover from the effort we put in against Depor"

Tito Vilanova talking to the press ahead of this Tuesday's match against Celtic / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The FC Barcelona manager considers that this Tuesday’s match against Celtic at the Camp Nou is “very important” for the team’s hopes of reaching the Champions League knock-out rounds

Vilanova knows that the match this Tuesday won’t be easy, and his main goal is making sure his players recover from the effort they put in against Deportivo on Saturday

“Champions League matches at home are very important. It will be easier to qualify for the next round if we win tomorrow”
“Celtic will close themselves off at the back and look to counter, we know how dangerous they are”
“Injuries don’t justify everything. In the end all they are all Barça players and they are all capable of playing well”

Tito Vilanova was the first FC Barcelona representative to talk to the press this afternoon at the Camp Nou. The manager is preparing his men for tomorrow’s Champions League match against Celtic FC after this weekend’s La Liga match against Deportivo de la Coruña. “My goal is to make sure my players recover from the effort they put in this weekend,” he explained. A victory over the Scottish side would bring qualification to the next round all the more closer for the Blaugrana. “Champions League matches at home are very important. It will be easier to qualify for the next round if we win tomorrow.”

When asked about tomorrow’s rival, Vilanova expects a Celtic side “that will close themselves off at the back and look to counter, we know how dangerous they are.” The manager also noted that Celtic managed to draw with Benfica and defeat Spartak.

Barça’s long injury list

Sergio Busquets, who is suspended for tomorrow’s match, joins Barça’s long list of unavailable players. An upbeat Vilanova accepts the circumstances and he said that “this is what we have and we’ll go forward with it.” He also revealed that Piqué, Puyol and Alves will not feature against Celtic on Tuesday and that they doubtful for this weekend’s match against Rayo.

Vilanova also said that he doesn’t believe the number of goals allowed by his team is due to the absence of his starting defenders: “Injuries don’t justify everything. In the end all they are all Barça players and they are all capable of playing well.” After analyzing this weekend’s match against Deportivo, the manager believes that the goals Barça conceded were “circumstances of the game.” Vilanova also defended his keeper, Víctor Valdés: “I don’t think he couldn’t have done much in those plays. His quality is beyond doubt.” Vilanova also reminded the journalists that Barça are the team that have scored the most goals this season (33) and “one thing compensates for the other.” However, if given the choice, he would “prefer to win by the largest goal margin without conceding any.”

Messi’s Ballon d’Or candidacy

Leo Messi was one of the standout players at Riazor this weekend with another hat-trick. With the Ballon d’Or voting around the corner, Vilanova doesn’t believe that the Argentinean’s performance this weekend increased his chances of winning the award. “He doesn’t deserve it for what he did the other day, but he deserves it for what he’s done all year long.” The manager explained that he won’t campaign for Messi, but he noted that “no one can do what Messi does.”

Barça to appeal Mascherano's red card

Mascherano. PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB.
The Argentine player was shown his second yellow card for “knocking down an opponent while disputing the ball”

The Club will appeal the red card that was shown to Javier Mascherano during the Deportivo-FC Barcelona match this weekend. The Blaugrana defender was given his second yellow card on 49 minutes for “knocking down an opponent while disputing the ball,” according to referee Paradas Romero’s post-match report. The player picked up his first yellow card on the 20th minute.

Celtic FC, a familiar acquaintance at the Camp Nou

Xavi vs Celtic at the Camp Nou in the 2007/08 season / PHOTO: ARCHIVE FCB
Barça and Celtic FC have faced each other four times in Barcelona, with a record of two victories for the Blaugrana and two draws. The last time the Scots and the Catalans faced off was in the 2007/08 season

This Tuesday at 20.45, Celtic FC will return to the Camp Nou for Matchday 3 of the Champions League Group Stage. This Tuesday’s match will be the Scottish team’s fifth visit to the Camp Nou.The first time was in 1964 in the second round of the UEFA Cup, FC Barcelona won the match by 3-1 thanks to goals from Zalua, Seminario and Rifé. Celtic returned 40 years later, in March of 2004, for the return leg of the UEFA Cup’s first knock-out stage. The Scottish team managed a goalless draw and progressed to the next round of the competition thanks to their 1-0 away-leg victory.

The following year, in 2004/05 season, Barça and Celtic faced off in the Champions League. This time the teams finished with a one-all draw. Eto’o gave Barça the lead but Hartson scored the equaliser before the break. The last time the two teams met was in the 2007/08 season. The team managed by Frank Rijkaard hosted Celtic at the Camp Nou in the first knock-out round of the Champions League. Barça won by a single goal and progressed to the quarter-finals thanks to the aggregate score of 4-2 (2-3, 1-0).

Demanding week for Barça as Celtic and Rayo clashes loom

The players prepare for the match against Celtic FC / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The men managed by Tito Vilanova hope continue their good run in the Champions League on Tuesday, and on Saturday they will travel to Madrid to face Rayo at the always complicated Vallecas

After the victory away to Deportivo de la Coruña, the men managed by Tito Vilanova are focusing on thier Champions League match against Celtic FC. Barça will train this Monday, at 18.00, in the Camp Nou. On Tuesday the Blaugrana will once again take to the pitch at noon ahead the match against Celtic FC, champions of the Scottish Premier League. On Wednesday and Friday the players will train at the Ciutat Esportiva and on Saturday the team will travel to Madrid to face Rayo Vallecano (22.00) for Week 9 of the Liga.

Monday, October 22

18.00 – Training session at the Camp Nou

Tuesday, October 23

12.00 – Training session at the Camp Nou

20.45 – FC Barcelona – Celtic FC

Wednesday, October 24

11.00 – Training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper

Thursday, October 25

Day off

Friday, October 26

11.00 – Training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper

Saturday, October 27

22.00 – Rayo Vallecano – FC Barcelona

Sunday, October 28

12.00 – Training session at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper