Celtic will be looking to avenge their Nou Camp humbling at the hands of Barca when they host Luis Enrique’s side in a crucial Champions League clash in Glasgow tonight.
Brendan Rodgers’ side were mauled 7-0 by the Catalans in September- a record European defeat for the proud Scottish club and the former Liverpool gaffer, who has said his side gave too much respect to Barca , has urged his men to avenge that defeat and keep their European hopes alive.
Barcelona thrash Celtic 7-0 at the Nou Camp- MD1
Celtic are currently bottom of Group C with just two points to show for their efforts from the four played so far. German oufit Borussia Monchengladbach have four to their name and will host Pep Guardiola’s Man City in the latter’s first game in Germany since leaving Bayern for the Etihad. A win for Gladbach will extinguish Celtic’s European hopes, but a win or draw for the Bhoys coupled with Gladbach failing to beat City will see the race for Group C’s Europa League spot taken to Match Day 6.
Rodgers rested Kolo Toure and Emilio Izaquirre for Friday’s game against Kilmarnock with one eye on the Barca clash, and both should return to the XI tonight. Kieran Tierney is out with an ankle injury while forward Leigh Griffiths faces a battle against time, with Rodgers giving him every opportunity to recover from the tight hamstring that saw him miss the trip to Rugby Park. Much will depend on the in-form Moussa Dembele, whose prolific scoring form has seen him being linked with a move south to England.
Barcelona go into this game on the back of a frustrating 0-0 draw against Malaga- the first time since February 2015 that they fired blanks in a league game at home. They were without the ill Lionel Messi and suspended Luis Suarez and struggled to break down Juande Ramos’ side, despite having over 80% of possession and 28 shots at goal.
Messi and Suarez have both made the trip to Scotland to boost Luis Enrique’s side, but the Catalans will be without the injured duo of Andres Iniesta and Samuel Umtiti.
Celtic famously beat Barcelona 2-1 at home when the two sides met in the Champions League back in 2012, and Rodgers will be hoping that his side can draw inspiration from their performance that evening.
However the bookies don’t expect the Hoops to triumph against the Catalans- for example William Hill, who will have complete coverage of the football matches today, have Celtic at 9/1 while Barca are being quoted at 2/7.
Who is the referee?
Italian Daniele Orsato will be the man with the whistle at Celtic Park, and this will be his third CL game this season after handling the Steaua-Man City and Leverkusen-CSKA games. He has averaged five yellow cards a game in his last five games.
Celtic Glasgow v Barcelona (KO 19.45 on 23 November, 2016)