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Barcelona seek guarantee of top spot

Beaten in Amsterdam last time out, FC Barcelona host eliminated Celtic FC needing just a point to guarantee themselves first place in UEFA Champions League Group H.

Celtic will have to try stopping Neymar once more
Celtic will have to try stopping Neymar once more ©Getty Images

FC Barcelona host Celtic FC needing just a point to tie up first place in Group H.

• Beaten 2-1 at AFC Ajax last time out, the Blaugrana's lead at the top has been narrowed to two points but a draw would be enough to guarantee that they hold off second-placed AC Milan. For Celtic there is only pride to play for after their matchday five home loss to Milan confirmed they will finish bottom.

• Barcelona have already beaten Celtic in Glasgow this season – winning 1-0 through a late Cesc Fàbregas header after Scott Brown's sending-off – and have yet to drop a home point while Celtic have lost both their Group H away games.

Past meetings
• Barcelona earned a last-gasp success when the clubs met at the Camp Nou on 23 October last year, Jordi Alba hitting the winner four minutes into added time, after Andrés Iniesta (45) had equalised a Giorgios Samaras (18) strike. Celtic gained revenge a fortnight later as Victor Wanyama (21) and UEFA Champions League debutant Tony Watt (83) earned Neil Lennon's men a 2-1 victory, despite Lionel Messi (90) replying for Barcelona.

• The lineups in Spain last year were:
Barcelona: Valdés, Adriano, Mascherano, Bartra, Alba, Song, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro (Tello 76), Messi, Sánchez (Villa 80).
Celtic: Forster, Lustig (Watt 72), Wilson, Ambrose, Izaguirre, Brown (Commons 63), Ledley, Wanyama, Mulgrew (Kayal 76), Hooper, Samaras (Forrest 43).

• Celtic prevailed when the clubs first faced each other in the 2003/04 UEFA Cup fourth round. Lennon was then a player in Martin O'Neill's team, who overcame a Blaugrana side including Víctor Valdés, Carles Puyol and Xavi Hernández 1-0 on aggregate thanks to Alan Thompson's goal in Glasgow prior to a second-leg stalemate in Barcelona.

• Celtic drew at Barcelona again in 2004/05, John Hartson cancelling out Samuel Eto'o's goal after the Glasgow side's 3-1 home loss. Lennon lined up once more against Valdés, Puyol, Xavi and substitute Iniesta.

• Xavi struck the only goal in Barcelona's 1-0 win over a Celtic team including Brown and substitute Samaras in the 2007/08 round of 16 second leg, a result that completed a 4-2 aggregate triumph. Valdés, Puyol and Messi were also in Barcelona's lineup that night.

Match background
• Barcelona have won both home games so far in Group H, beating Ajax and AC Milan with a combined score of 7-1, and have suffered only one defeat in their last 24 UEFA Champions League home fixtures.

• Celtic are hoping to avoid a fourth successive European away defeat this term after losses at FC Shakhter Karagandy in the play-offs and Milan and Ajax in Group H. They failed to score in all three of those games.

• For the Scottish champions, their matchday four loss at Ajax was their 24th in 26 fixtures on the road in the UEFA Champions League proper. The sole exceptions were a 3-2 victory at FC Spartak Moskva on matchday two last year and their 1-1 draw at Barcelona in 2004/05.

• Celtic are winless in their 13 previous visits to face Liga opposition, having recorded three draws and ten defeats.

• Celtic also lost the 2003 UEFA Cup final on Spanish soil, going down 3-2 to FC Porto in Seville.

• The only Scottish side to win at the Camp Nou were Dundee United FC in the 1986/87 UEFA Cup quarter-finals. They followed up a 1-0 home victory with a 2-1 success at Terry Venables' Barcelona.

Team ties
• Lennon's first taste of European club football as a player came in Leicester City FC's 2-1 first-leg reverse at Club Atlético de Madrid in the 1997/98 UEFA Cup first round, en route to a 4-1 overall defeat. He also played for Northern Ireland in a 4-1 friendly loss to Spain in Santander in June 1998.

• Alexis Sánchez scored twice past Fraser Forster on the goalkeeper's England debut on 15 November as Chile won 2-0 at Wembley.

• Tomas Rogic appeared as a 69th-minute substitute in the Australia side beaten 6-0 by Brazil in Brasilia on 7 September, Neymar scoring the third goal.

• Teemu Pukki played in the Finland side beaten 2-0 at home by Spain in a FIFA World Cup qualifier on 6 September, Alba scoring the first goal. Iniesta, Xavi, Fàbregas and Pedro Rodríguez also featured for the world champions. Pukki scored a 79th-minute equaliser past Valdés when Finland held Spain 1-1 in Gijon in March.

• Pukki hit three goals in 32 league games for Sevilla FC's B team between 2007 and 2010. He also made one Liga appearance for the senior side.

• Efe Ambrose was in the Nigeria team defeated 3-0 by Spain in the group stage of the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup on 23 June. Alba scored twice for a Spain side also including Gerard Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Valdés, Iniesta, Xavi, Fàbregas and Pedro.

• Derk Boerrigter scored in AFC Ajax's 4-1 group stage defeat at Real Madrid CF last December.

• Baldé struck four goals in 13 third-division outings during a loan spell at CD Badajoz in 2010/11.

• Emilio Izaguirre's Honduras lost 2-0 to Spain in the 2010 World Cup group stage.

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