Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Celtic v Barcelona - Preview


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Emilio Izaguirre has added his name to a growing injury list as Celtic prepare to face Barcelona in the Champions League.

Having come agonisingly close to taking a point off the Catalan giants on Matchday Three, the Bhoys will be desperate to have something to show for their efforts on home soil.

Whether they can replicate the level of performance they managed in Camp Nou remains to be seen, with Neil Lennon's side having led at one stage before being pegged back.

Barca are unlikely to take pity on their midweek opponents, though, with an early ticket to the knockout stages and an opportunity to rest key men a top priority for Tito Vilanova's side.

Victory in Glasgow on Wednesday would wrap up top spot in Group G, while three points on the road and anything less than a win for Spartak Moscow at Benfica would seal their progress into the last-16.

Celtic, though, harbour qualification aspirations of their own, having collected four points so far, and another positive result in midweek would leave them in a strong position to make it out of the group.

Winger James Forrest (hamstring) and strikers Gary Hooper (hamstring), Lassad (groin) and Georgios Samaras (ankle) missed the trip to Tayside and only the latter appears to have a real chance of making the game against the Catalan giants.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has been given the green light to return to action after injury and has been included in the Catalan side's squad.

Pique has not played since suffering a foot injury against Spartak Moscow on 19th September but is now available again for coach Vilanova.

Pique's central defensive partner Carles Puyol is still missing through injury though, as are Adriano and Thiago Alcantara, while Sergio Busquets is suspended.





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