Celtic face Barcelona tonight in the penultimate round of fixtures in the Champions League group stage at Celtic Park. Brendan Rodgers’ side must win one of their last two games in the group stages if they are to have any hope of European football after Christmas. With Celtic’s impressive home record in the Champions League and a difficult trip to the Etihad to face Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City up next, Celtic fans see tonight’s game as their best chance of progression.
Lionel Messi missed Barcelona’s 0-0 draw with Malaga at the weekend, however is expected to travel with the squad to Glasgow. Celtic are still without key left-back Kieran Tierney who is out for two months with an ankle injury.
Celtic fell to a 7-0 defeat to Barcelona in their opening group stage fixture at the Camp Nou. This was Celtic’s worst ever European defeat, however after positive performances at Celtic Park against Manchester City and away to Borussia Monchengladbach, confidence is much higher for the hoops going into this game.
Rodgers believes his side can win this game saying “We have no fear for the result. If we play our style we have an opportunity to get the result.” Neil Lennon’s Celtic famously beat Barcelona 2-1 at Celtic Park in 2012 and Rodgers believes this can be replicated; “I was very happy for Neil and it shows it can be done. Players can take inspiration from that game.”
Celtic have had somewhat of a rebirth this season under Brendan Rodgers, undefeated domestically while only dropping two points in the process. A 5-1 win over city rivals Rangers with a hat-trick from summer signing Moussa Dembele gave Celtic fans belief that the Rodgers era could bring success that they have not seen since Martin O’Neill departed in 2005.
Celtic and Brendan Rodgers face one of their biggest tests yet tomorrow, but after a great start to the season and positive results in Europe’s elite competition, their supporters once again believe that magic results can return to the green half of Glasgow.