Barcelona coach Luis Enrique was full of praise for Celtic on Monday, but the Scottish visitors have their work cut out against a team who have won 11 European home fixtures in a row.
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- Barcelona have won their last 11 European fixtures at home
- Luis Enrique's team were beaten 2-1 by promoted Alavés on Saturday
- Luis Enrique: "We're facing a historic European club"
- Celtic are without an away victory in UEFA competition in eight games
- Don't forget to pick your Fantasy Football team before the deadline
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitić, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez, Neymar.
Doubtful: Ter Stegen (hamstring)
Celtic: De Vries; Lustig, Touré, Sviatchenko, Tierney; Forrest, Brown, Rogic, Biton, Sinclair; Dembélé.
Out: Griffiths (hamstring)
Luis Enrique, Barcelona coach
We're facing a historic European club. I've seen [Brendan Rodgers] here a few times, studying our youth teams and watching the first team. I admire the brand of football his teams play.
The fact this is a rival we played in pre-season [Barcelona won 3-1 in Dublin in July] helps us a little bit when it comes to studying them and trying to work out how they might play. But let's be clear, there'll be a big difference in the intensity of this match compared to a warm-up friendly.
Brendan Rodgers, Celtic manager
We face a front three which is one of best of all time. And Barça are, possibly, the best team in the world. When he played for me [at Liverpool], Luis Suárez used to occupy a back four all on his own. If you add Messi and Neymar in this and you've got a handful to face! But we aren't here to be passengers. We are here to get the result.
A defeat like Barcelona suffered at the weekend can sometimes awaken a team. Alavés defended very, very well but with the possession they had they made chances. You can have all the tactical systems in the world and park two double-decker buses in front of the goal but the best players will always find space. A lot of people seem to think this is a 'free' game for Celtic. But not for me.
Barcelona 1-2 Alavés (Mathieu 46; Deyverson 39, Ibai Gómez 64)
Despite Neymar returning, Paco Alcácer making his debut and Lionel Messi, Luis Suárez and Andrés Iniesta coming off the bench, Barcelona's perfect start was ended by their visitors, unbeaten since promotion. This ended a ten-match competitive winning streak for Luis Enrique's men.
Celtic 5-1 Rangers (Dembélé 33 42 83, Sinclair 61, Armstrong 90+2; Garner 44)
Moussa Dembélé was the star against a Rangers side that had debutant Philippe Senderos sent off. Dembélé's hat-trick was the first for Celtic against Rangers in the league since Stevie Chalmers in 1966, and they now have four victories out of four in the Scottish Premiership.
Form guide (all competitions, most recent first)*
*This season only
Reporter's view: Graham Hunter (@UEFAcomGrahamH)
It will be on the minds of the Barça fans and media that if Alavés can come to the Camp Nou and not only win but play with terrific composure, clarity and confidence, then there would seem little reason why the first group game, against Celtic, might not hold the same threat. Barcelona's pride was pricked in that defeat but there will be no rotation against Celtic and Barcelona remain an ominous prospect.
Did you know?
Celtic are returning to the scene of their joint heaviest European defeat. Find out more in our extensive match background.