The Champions League kicks into high gear on Tuesday, with a Group G match between Barcelona and Celtic at Camp Nou.
It's a big match for the two clubs considering that Barcelona leads Celtic by two points in the League standings.
Barcelona, won both of its Champions League matches, including 3-2 over Spartak Moscow and 2-0 over Benifica on Oct. 2. Celtic drew 0-0 against Benifica and won 3-2 over Spartak Moscow in a tight match to earn points. It will be the third Champions League match for both clubs.
"Celtic tied with Benfica and beat Spartak in Moscow which was a good thing for them," said Barca manager Tito Vilanova to Yahoo. "At the beginning people maybe did not take into account of the possibility of Celtic going through but with four points from two games and two games at home to go, they have a chance."
Barcelona has earned six points and to no surprise, Lionel Messi has lead the way for the club, scoring two goals and adding two assists in two matches played.
The club has played extremely well over the past 20 Champions League matches, losing only one while drawing four and winning the rest. According to Yahoo, Messi has scored 53 goals in 70 League games and has also had 17 assists.
Barcelona will be shorthanded, with Daniel Alves, Gerard Pique and Eric Abidal out of the lineup. The team will also be without midfielder Sergio Busquets, who is suspended.
"Injuries are normally a headache for a coach but we have got what we have got. And all the players are at the right level to play for Barcelona. We would like to improve on everything and score more and concede less and we will try to do that," said Barca's Tito Vilanova. "But all Champions League games are complicated and I am worried because Celtic are very fast up front and they proved it against Spartak. They play good, counter-attacking football so we know they are dangerous. They are also good in the air and so I am really worried about that."
Celtic may also have some personnel issues, with Scott Brown, James Forrest and Kris Commons all dealing with injuries. The three, along with Georgios Samaras who is dealing with an elbow injury, will be pre-match training decisions and may not play.
"It is exciting times for the players and the club and the supporters as well. But we aren't here for a holiday. We are not here for the tourist attractions. We are here to play football. We are going to be in for a tough 90 minutes but we want Barcelona to be in for a tough 90 minutes. This is the ultimate test away from home," said Celtic manager Neil Lennon. "We haven't budgeted for anything from this game but who knows. I'm hoping for 11 or 14 heroes tomorrow night, not just one. Along the way already, players have made their name in this competition for us and I'm hoping a few more will do that on Tuesday. We have to be very compact, we have to be concentrated and play with a great intensity but what we do have is plenty of pace in the team. We've got ability and we've come off the back of a good performance at the weekend. So it's a good place the team is in at the minute."
Celtic will have their hands full in the match with the athletic and accurate play of Barcelona. According to Yahoo, "Barcelona has the best passing accuracy in the opposition half (92%) while Celtic has the lowest completion rate (65%)."
Playing in Spain won't be a help to Celtic either. The team has been held without a goal in nine of the last 13 matches played in Spain.
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