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Buoyant Celtic visit Barcelona

Published: Tuesday 9 October 2012, 9.45CET
Celtic FC will be eager to build on their long-overdue away win at FC Spartak Moskva but know that could prove easier said than done against Group G leaders FC Barcelona.
Buoyant Celtic visit Barcelona
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has won and lost at home to Barcelona as a player ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 9 October 2012, 9.45CET

Buoyant Celtic visit Barcelona

Celtic FC will be eager to build on their long-overdue away win at FC Spartak Moskva but know that could prove easier said than done against Group G leaders FC Barcelona.

Unbeaten Celtic FC visit Group G leaders FC Barcelona buoyed by their impressive victory at FC Spartak Moskva last time out.

• The Scottish title holders' 3-2 success in Moscow was their first in 21 away fixtures in the UEFA Champions League proper but Tito Vilanova's hosts have a maximum six points so far, and a long unbeaten home record in the competition.

Past meetings
• Neil Lennon was in the Celtic side that ousted Barcelona in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup fourth round. Víctor Valdés, Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernández played in Celtic's 1-0 first-leg victory, secured by an Alan Thompson goal, and all featured again in the goalless second leg.

• Henrik Larsson struck against his old club with Deco and Ludovic Giuly also scoring when Barcelona won 3-1 at Celtic in the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League group stage. Lennon appeared along with Valdés, Puyol and Xavi and all four were present in the Camp Nou return, together with Andrés Iniesta, a 60th-minute substitute. It finished 1-1 after John Hartson cancelled out Samuel Eto'o's strike.

• Barcelona got the better of Celtic once more in the 2007/08 round of 16. Despite falling behind twice to goals from Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (16) and Barry Robson (38), they eventually won the first leg in Glasgow 3-2 as Lionel Messi (18, 79) and Thierry Henry (52) struck. Xavi hit the only goal of the second leg.

• The lineups for that Camp Nou encounter on 4 March 2008 were:
Barcelona: Valdés, Zambrotta, Thuram, Puyol, Sylvinho, Touré (Edmílson 68), Xavi (Gudjohnsen 82), Deco, Messi (Henry 38), Eto'o, Ronaldinho.
Celtic: Boruc, Wilson, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Scott Brown, Hartley (McDonald 78), Donati (Sno 46), McGeady, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Samaras 55).

Match background
• Barcelona are unbeaten in 17 European home outings, winning 14, dating back to a 2-1 reverse against FC Rubin Kazan on 20 October 2009.

• Celtic have not won on 12 previous trips to Spain, recording three draws and nine defeats. Their most recent visit brought a 2-0 loss at Club Atlético de Madrid in last season's UEFA Europa League group stage.

• Barcelona's only two other home fixtures against Scottish visitors were a 2-0 victory over Rangers FC in the 2007/08 group stage and a 2-1 loss to Dundee United FC in the 1986/87 UEFA Cup quarter-finals.

Team ties
• Lennon's first taste of European football as a player came in Leicester City FC's 2-1 defeat at Atlético in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round.

• With Arsenal FC, Cesc Fàbregas and Alex Song enjoyed a 5-1 aggregate victory against Celtic in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League play-offs.

• David Villa and Andrés Iniesta were on target while Gerard Piqué scored an own goal as Spain beat Scotland 3-2 at Hampden Park in a UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier in October 2010. Puyol and Sergio Busquets also played.

• In the reverse fixture in October 2011 Villa, one of eight current Barcelona players in Spain's starting XI, scored his 50th international goal in a 3-1 win. Thiago Alcántara and Scotland's James Forrest were second-half substitutes.

• Emilio Izaguirre's Honduras lost 2-0 to Spain – Villa scoring both goals – in the 2010 FIFA World Cup group stage.

• Javier Mascherano met Brown and Kris Commons in Argentina's 1-0 defeat of Scotland in a 2008 Hampden friendly.

• Nicolás Fedor hit 24 goals in 87 league outings for Getafe CF and featured in their 1-0 home win against Barcelona last November. A product of Valencia CF's youth system, he was a colleague of Villa and Jordi Alba at Mestalla.

• Lassad Nouioui struck 24 goals in 99 league games for RC Deportivo La Coruña and played at the Camp Nou twice – a 3-0 defeat in April 2010 and a 0-0 draw in May 2011.

FARE Action Week
• Matchday three of the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League will contribute to the fight against all forms of discrimination in football stadiums as UEFA gives its full support to Europe's biggest anti-discrimination campaign – the FARE Action Week. Forty matches across the competitions on 23, 24 and 25 October will restate UEFA's commitment to ensuring that European football is free of racism, intolerance and xenophobia.

Last updated: 19/10/12 16.32CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009533/prematch/background/index.html#buoyant+celtic+visit+barcelona

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