Celtic v/s Barcelona
Tito Vilanova and his all conquering Barcelona travel to Scotland to take on the mighty Celtic at Celtic Park on Wednesday in what is expected to be a pulsating match day for the Spanish giants as they look to secure passage into the next round of the competition as early as possible and a win against the Scottish champions will almost guarantee them a place in the last eight.
The Bluagrana are yet to lose a match in either the domestic league or in Europe and their only so far this season came in the Spanish Super Cup second leg match against arch rivals Real Madrid. Barcelona completely outplayed Neil Lennon’s side at Camp Nou in the reverse fixture and although credit must be given to The Hoops for a resilient display, holding on to the might Spanish side for much of the game, it must also be said that Barcelona deserved their 2-1 victory in the end.
Moreover, the huge gulf that exists between a Spanish side and a top Scottish side also came to the fore in the match as Barcelona bombarded the Old Firm side after going a goal down early in the first half. Celtic barely managed to get a touch of the ball in the second half as Barcelona laid siege on their goal in their search for the winner.
Barcelona are on top of the Spanish league standings with an all win record except the draw against Real Madrid, and a lead that is looking increasingly difficult to overtake for the capital giants. However, it is not in the Barcelona philosophy to rest on their laurels and they will once again start from scratch as they look to secure their passage to the next round of the UEFA Champions League.
Celtic are also in fine form and are almost certain to retain the Scottish Premier League in the absence of arch rivals Rangers but they will have their work cut out, even at home when Barcelona come to town with qualification to the next stages of the UEFA Champions League in their mind. Neil Lennon will have to set up a side that will know how to absorb the pressure that playing against Barcelona brings and being a fiery manager, he will no doubt motivate his boys to get ready for the challenge that lies in front of them in the form of Lionel Messi and Co.