Can Celtic get anything from Wednesday's huge CL game against Barcelona?
Celtic v Barcelona – Wednesday 19:45, BT ESPN
Celtic are winless in the group stages of the Champions League this year, and with only two points from a possible 12, even a Europa League spot looks unlikely at this stage. They host a Barca side who humiliated them 7-0 at the Nou Camp and are just one win away from the last 16. Although they’ve done well domestically of late, Celtic will know that taking any points away from this fixture will be a monumental task.
Barca were without Lionel Messi at the weekend owing to illness, but they welcome him back for the midweek fixture, and he will link up with the similarly talismanic Neymar and Luis Suarez to head up Barca’s attack on Wednesday night. They come up against a Celtic side who have a settled centre back pair in Sviatchenko and Simunovic: under their watch, Celtic have shipped just one goal across their last six fixtures in all competitions (that goal coming in the 1-1 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach).
Then again, although Barca have had a mixed away record of late – their last four on the road have seen them lose at Celta Vigo and Man City and have to come from behind to beat Sevilla and Valencia – they have scored in all of their last nine away games across all competitions.
Looking at Celtic’s record in the group stages of the Champions League, seven of their last 11 home games have finished in draws. Their defensive record recently makes us think there’s a chance they can hold out for a draw. They almost achieved that feat in 2008 and 2013 when Barca came here (losing 3-2 and 1-0 after late winners) and they famously won 2-1 when the Catalans visited in 2012 so Messi and co just look a touch short to us at 1.3.