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Celtic must beat Spartak and hope for best

Published: Tuesday 27 November 2012, 9.29CET
Celtic FC will look to end their Group G campaign with a home victory over FC Spartak Moskva – while hoping FC Barcelona do them a favour against second-placed SL Benfica.
Celtic must beat Spartak and hope for best
Giorgos Samaras closes down Evgeni Makeev during Celtic's win in Moscow ©AFP/Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 27 November 2012, 9.29CET

Celtic must beat Spartak and hope for best

Celtic FC will look to end their Group G campaign with a home victory over FC Spartak Moskva – while hoping FC Barcelona do them a favour against second-placed SL Benfica.

Celtic FC still have hope of snatching second place in Group G from SL Benfica when they host eliminated FC Spartak Moskva on matchday six.

• Celtic sit level on seven points with Benfica but behind them on head-to-head record, yet if they better the Portuguese side's result at FC Barcelona, they will overtake them and advance to the last 16 for the first time since 2007/08.

Past meetings
• Celtic were 3-2 winners in Moscow on matchday two and also overcame Spartak on spot kicks after the teams played out two 1-1 draws in the 2007/08 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. Paul Hartley opened the scoring after 21 minutes of the first leg in Moscow, with Roman Pavlyuchenko equalising (42) for Stanislav Cherchesov's hosts.

• In a dramatic second leg, Pavlyuchenko struck an early penalty against a post before scoring the 45th-minute equaliser that cancelled out Scott McDonald's goal (27). Spartak lost Martin Stranzl to a red card (85) but Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink's spot kick against the crossbar in extra time ensured the contest went to a shoot-out.

• Shunsuke Nakamura missed for Celtic but Artur Boruc saved from Yegor Titov and Maxym Kalynychenko to secure a 4-3 win for Gordon Strachan's side. Scott Brown and Aiden McGeady both started for Celtic, the latter now at Spartak having moved in August 2010. John Kennedy, who played in the first leg, now coaches Celtic's Under-20 team.

• The lineups for that 29 August second-leg encounter were:
Celtic: Boruc, Wilson, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor (O'Dea 110), Nakamura, S Brown, Donati, McGeady (Riordan 104), McDonald (Żurawski 97), Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Spartak: Pletikosa, Şoavă, Stranzl, Kováč, Shishkin, Mozart, Torbinski (Boyarintsev 103), Bystrov (Kalynychenko 95), Titov, Pavlyuchenko, Welliton (Dedura 82).

Match background
• Neil Lennon's Celtic are looking to complete their first ever double over opponents in the UEFA Champions League. The Glasgow club's 3-2 victory over Spartak at the Stadion Luzhniki on 2 October was their first away victory in 21 attempts in the modern-day competition.

• Celtic have already earned a famous 2-1 victory against FC Barcelona at home in Group G, as well as holding Benfica 0-0. Should they beat Spartak, they would have ten points – their highest tally in seven appearances in the group stage.

• Already sure of finishing bottom, Spartak have suffered an early exit for the fifth successive time in the UEFA Champions League. They have lost both away matches in the section, though they did earn a 1-1 draw at Fenerbahçe SK in the play-offs.

• Dmitri and Kirill Kombarov were in the FC Dinamo Moskva side that won 1-0 at Celtic in the third qualifying round of the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League – but then lost 2-0 at home to goals from McDonald and Giorgos Samaras. McGeady was in the Celtic side.

Team ties
• This match brings McGeady back to Celtic Park for the first time since his departure for Spartak in August 2010. The Irishman made 251 appearances for the Glasgow club in all competitions and scored 37 goals during a six-year spell between 2004 and 2010.

• Valeri Karpin, who has replaced Unai Emery at the Spartak helm since matchday five, was once on the losing side against Johan Mjällby, Celtic's assistant manager, when the latter's Sweden beat Karpin's Russia 1-0 in a 1998 friendly. Karpin twice faced Scotland with Russia in EURO '96 qualifying, drawing 1-1 at Hampden Park in Glasgow and 0-0 at home.

• Marek Suchý played in the Czech Republic's 1-0 home win against Scotland in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying in October 2010.

• With Olympique Lyonnais, Kim Källström suffered a 3-0 home loss to Rangers in the 2007/08 group stage but made amends with a 3-0 success in Glasgow.

• Källström plays alongside Mikael Lustig for Sweden and the pair were in the side that beat England 4-2 in a November friendly, with Fraser Forster an unused substitute on the England bench.

• Emmanuel Emenike and Efe Ambrose are international colleagues with Nigeria.

Last updated: 30/11/12 20.39CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000347/match=2009573/prematch/background/index.html#celtic+must+beat+spartak+hope+best

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