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Barcelona ready to brave Celtic cauldron

Published: Tuesday 30 October 2012, 9.45CET
Celtic FC have a strong home record in the UEFA Champions League but there is no team less likely to be daunted than FC Barcelona, their visitors on matchday four.
Barcelona ready to brave Celtic cauldron
Celtic react to Barcelona's late winner on matchday three ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 30 October 2012, 9.45CET

Barcelona ready to brave Celtic cauldron

Celtic FC have a strong home record in the UEFA Champions League but there is no team less likely to be daunted than FC Barcelona, their visitors on matchday four.

Celtic FC are traditionally tough opponents on their own soil in the UEFA Champions League but Tito Vilanova's FC Barcelona arrive in Glasgow as the only team to have beaten the Scottish side in 21 home matches, group stage to final, in the competition's modern era.

• Only a Jordi Alba goal in the final seconds prevented Celtic registering a famous draw at the Camp Nou on matchday three. Neil Lennon's side therefore stayed second in Group G on four points, five adrift of opponents who have won all three games.

Past meetings
• Lennon was in the Celtic team 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 scoreless 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 as Celtic, despite Chris Sutton's goal, suffered their only home reverse in a group stage fixture. It finished 1-1 in the Camp Nou, John Hartson cancelling out Samuel Eto'o's strike and Andrés Iniesta appearing as a 60th-minute substitute.

• 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 return.

• The lineups for that Celtic Park encounter on 20 February 2008 were:
Celtic: Boruc, Caddis (Wilson 61), Caldwell, McManus, Naylor, Nakamura, Hartley (Donati 65), Robson, McGeady, Vennegoor of Hesselink (Samaras 55), McDonald.
Barcelona: Valdés, Puyol, Milito, Márquez, Abidal, Iniesta, Y Touré, Deco (Xavi 66), Messi, Henry (Gudjohnsen 88), Ronaldinho (Eto'o 73).

Match background
• Celtic have upheld their traditionally strong home form this term, beating HJK Helsinki and Helsingborgs IF in qualifying before a 0-0 draw with SL Benfica.

• Their last European home loss came against Club Atlético de Madrid, 1-0 in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage. Their overall record against Spanish visitors is W6 D2 L4.

• Barcelona's record in Scotland is W2 D1 L2.

• With their 2-0 win at Benfica last time out, the Blaugrana have won 12 and lost just three of their last 25 UEFA Champions League away fixtures.

Team ties
• Lennon's first taste of European club football as a player came in a 4-1 aggregate defeat for Leicester City FC against Atlético in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round. He also played for Northern Ireland in a 4-1 friendly loss to Spain in Santander in June 1998.

• With Arsenal FC, Cesc Fàbregas and Alex Song won 2-0 away to a Celtic team including Scott Brown and Giorgos Samaras en route to a 5-1 aggregate victory in the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League play-offs.

• David Villa and 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, Villa scored his 50th international goal in Spain's 3-1 triumph. James Forrest was a second-half Scotland substitute.

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

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

• Miku 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 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.

Last updated: 02/11/12 18.58CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009541/prematch/background/index.html#barcelona+ready+brave+celtic+cauldron

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