Scottish giants Celtic travel to the Nou Camp in search of a big upset victory against Champions League contenders FC Barcelona. Join us for live scores and commentary from 5:30am AEST.
After a very promising start to their Champions League campaign, Celtic now faces a tough ask against a Barcelona side eager to make a solid impression at home.
Barcelona was unconvincing at home in their 3-2 victory over Spartak Moscow on match day one and will be keen to put Celtic to the sword in front of their home fans.
Celtic on the other hand will have other ideas and may just fancy their chances of securing a strong result away from home.
While Barcelona’s attack remains as potent as ever, their defence has left a lot to be desired so far this season and Celtic will have taken note of their frailties at the back.
Celtic however will need to secure their fair share of possession if they are to expose a shaky Barcelona defence, and it is highly unlikely that the Scottish giants will see a lot of the football tonight against Vilanova’s men.
There is no doubt that Celtic will play defensively tonight in a bid to frustrate Barcelona, so expect to see Lionel Messi, Cesc Fabregas, Xavi and Andres Iniesta tightly marked as usual.
On a pitch as big as the Nou Camp however, Barcelona invariably find space with their supreme passing game and should be favoured to open Celtic right up throughout the course of the contest.
Messi and Fabregas are the players most likely to cause Celtic huge problems tonight. The duo were largely responsible for securing a 5-4 win against Deportivo La Coruna on the weekend and both will most likely get on the scoresheet yet again this evening.
With so much creative class at their disposal, an early goal by Barcelona should see the home side rack up a big score against Celtic tonight.
The longer the match stays close however, the better it will be for Celtic given that Barcelona’s defence will be keen to press further up the pitch in a bid to regain possession quickly for the hosts.
If that happens, Celtic have the potential to hurt Barcelona on the counter attack with Samaras the player most likely to cause the most trouble upfront against the La Liga giants.
Barcelona can also become their own worst enemy when placed under pressure as evidenced by their poor defensive performance against Deportiva La Coruna.
Jordi Alba scored an own goal on the weekend and Victor Valdez was also unconvincing in goal as he failed to save an easy half volley.
Despite their struggles in defence however, Barcelona should still run out worthy winners tonight against a Celtic side that is simply not in the same class as their Spanish counterparts.
Prediction: Barcelona 3 Celtic 0