Scottish Premiership champions Celtic welcome La Liga kings Barcelona to Celtic Park on Wednesday, as the Bhoys attempt to reverse a 7-0 thrashing they received at the Camp Nou on Matchday 1.
Lionel Messi missed Barca’s most recent fixture in La Liga due to sickness but has returned to training ahead of the match in Glasgow, Scotland, according to Peter Gilbert of Sky Sports.
The Scottish champions’ Parkhead stadium will be bursting to the rafters for the match, creating one of the truly unique atmospheres in world football.
Here is how you can watch the Group C game:
Date: Wednesday, Nov. 23
Time: 7:45 p.m. GMT/2:45 p.m. ET
Venue: Celtic Park, Glasgow, Scotland
TV Info: BT Sport (UK only) Fox (U.S. only)
Live Stream: BT Sport App, Fox Soccer 2Go
Lionel Messi has returned to training ahead of the Blaugrana’s trip to Glasgow to face the British giants in the Champions League, and the Scots will have revenge on their mind.
Messi led a seven-goal demolition of Celtic to open their European campaign this term, helping Barca claim top spot in the group ahead of Pep Guardiola’s improving Manchester City unit.
Barca currently have nine points from four games, and are two points clear of the Sky Blues at the summit.
As expected, Celtic are rooted to the bottom of the table after claiming only two points from four contests.
An unlikely victory could see the Hoops compete for a UEFA Europa League spot at the end of group proceedings.
According to UEFA.com, Barca have been victorious seven times in 11 games against the legendary Scottish club, and the odds will be stacked against the hosts, especially if Messi starts once more. However, Celtic are on a 15-game unbeaten run in domestic competition, and their form is solid before their illustrious guests arrive.
The Daily Record quoted Messi ahead of the match, and the Argentina icon promised his side will go for the jugular on Scottish soil after losing at the Etihad Stadium to City.
We don’t like to experience defeat, but what we do have to do is move on quickly.
To finish top of the group is still in our own hands – if we win the remaining two games we will still win the group – and that has always been our objective.
Our next game against Celtic is an important one – and we must be ruthless.
It is a club and stadium a lot of the players know well and a club we have a lot of respect for, but we must forget everything and make sure we return from Scotland with a win.
Comparing the qualities of both squads, Barca could leave Messi on the bench and still complete a comfortable victory, but with the gap at the top of the table negligible, it is likely the attacker will see action from the first whistle.
Celtic hold the romance of big competition in high esteem at Parkhead, and no team enjoys the noise and flair of the Scots in full voice.
Barca have all the jokers in the pack to thwart their hosts on Wednesday night, but Celtic have the heart to slay the biggest and best teams on their home patch.
- Barcelona have won 7 of their last 8 matches against Celtic in all competitions.
- Barcelona have scored at least 3 goals in their last 3 matches against Celtic in all competitions.
- Barcelona have been winning at both half time and full time in their last 3 matches against Celtic in all competitions.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in 6 of Barcelona’s last 7 games (UEFA Champions League).
- Celtic have seen over 2.5 goals in 5 of their last 6 matches against Barcelona in all competitions.
- Celtic have failed to win their last 5 matches (UEFA Champions League).
Celtic predicted line-up: