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Barça visit holds no fear for Celtic

Celtic FC hope their impressive home record in the UEFA Champions League will stand them in good stead as FC Barcelona visit for the first knockout round first leg.

It is a quick return to Scotland for FC Barcelona who, after facing Rangers FC in the UEFA Champions League group stage, now take on the other Glasgow giants, Celtic FC, for the right to claim a quarter-final berth for the second time in three seasons.

• Celtic will be hoping to exact revenge for a 3-1 home defeat by the same opponents in the 2004/05 group stage when Deco was among the scorers for the visitors. Also on the scoresheet that night was Henrik Larsson who, before joining the Catalan club, had given great service to Celtic while Victor Valdés, Rafael Márquez, Carles Puyol, Xavi Hernández, Samuel Eto'o and Ronaldinho were all in Barça's starting lineup. Bobo Balde started for Celtic and Aiden McGeady was an unused substitute.

• A repeat of the teams' confrontation in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup fourth round would suit the Scottish champions a great deal more. On that occasion Alan Thompson's second-half goal gave the Parkhead club a narrow victory in the first leg, an advantage they defended with a goalless draw in Spain. Balde appeared for the winners while Valdés, Puyol, Xavi, Ronaldinho and Oleguer Presas all started for Frank Rijkaard's team, who will be looking for their 100th victory in the European Champion Clubs' Cup at Celtic Park.

• Celtic's run that season came to an end in the quarter-finals against another Spanish outfit, Villarreal CF, when a 1-1 draw in Glasgow was followed by a 2-0 away defeat.

• Before that, Celtic's home record against Spanish opponents stood up to close scrutiny. After starting with a 0-0 home draw against Club Atlético de Madrid in the 1973/74 European Champion Clubs' Cup semi-final, they then won four of their next five games at Celtic Park against Spanish sides – including a 2-0 victory against Real Madrid CF in the 1979/80 European Cup quarter-final. However that was the first of four home-and-away ties in which Celtic came off second best every time in aggregate terms.

• Celtic are the only Scottish club to have won European Champion Clubs' Cup home games against Spanish opposition. Along with the aforementioned 2-0 victory over Real Madrid in 1980, they also defeated Real Sociedad de Fútbol 2-1 in a 1982/83 second round tie. In the seven other visits made by Spanish teams to Scotland in Europe's élite club competition, they have returned with three wins and four draws.

• This season Gordon Strachan's men won all their home fixtures to finish as runners-up in Group D, four points behind AC Milan. The title holders were the first to fall in Glasgow, defeated 2-1, while narrow wins were also achieved against SL Benfica (1-0) and FC Shakhtar Donetsk (2-1), late goals from Scott McDonald and Massimo Donati respectively securing the points against both the Italian and Ukrainian sides.

• Last season, when the Glasgow club qualified for the knockout stages for the first time at the fourth attempt, they were paired with Milan again. The home leg ended 0-0 with Kaká's extra-time goal proving decisive in the return.

• At the same stage Barcelona, the reigning champions, also met disappointment. They lost 2-1 at home to Liverpool FC and although Eidur Gudjohnsen brought the visitors a 1-0 victory at Anfield, it could not prevent the English club from going through on away goals after a 2-2 draw on aggregate.

• Barça's away game with Rangers on Matchday 3 ended 0-0 which meant the win against Celtic in 2004 was their only victory against Scottish opponents in seven attempts. Their first away game, in the 1986/87 UEFA Cup quarter-finals, ended in a 1-0 defeat at Dundee United FC. This season's return match with Rangers brought their second triumph against Scottish opponents in the shape of a 2-0 win.

• The other away games in Group E brought Rijkaard's men a 2-0 win at VfB Stuttgart and a 2-2 draw at Olympique Lyonnais. They won the section by four points from Lyon.

• Defenders Lilian Thuram and Eric Abidal as well as Thierry Henry were all in the France team beaten by a Scotland side in Glasgow in a UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying match in October 2006. Gary Caldwell, Steven Pressley and Paul Hartley all started for the home nation.