Barcelona to take on Celtic

Updated: 25 February 2007 09:04 IST

Barcelona take on Celtic today, knowing that a draw and a point will be enough for them to book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Barcelona to take on Celtic

Barcelona:

Join Group F leaders Barcelona take on Celtic today, knowing that a draw and a point will be enough for them to book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League. Celtic need to strengthen their defences if they are to win in the hunt for a third-place finish and a UEFA Cup berth. But Barcelona head coach Frank Rijkaard is refusing to take Celtic lightly. Taking no chances "I expect a tough game because I know the way Celtic can play, especially against other great teams in Europe. They always manage to play with spirit, very intensely and most of the time they have the support of their fans," he said. Despite their current run of good form, Rijkaard is keen to keep his team focussed so early in the competition and the season. "I think we are heading in the right direction but that doesn't mean we are ready to be compared other great teams in history. We have to continue working together, suffering, helping each other this season. It still is a long season and many more games to go," he pointed out. Team's lossBarcelona will have to manage without Swedish striker Henrik Larsson. The 33-year-old is the latest victim of an injury jinx that has sidelined three other players for the rest of the season. Midfielder Thiago Motta and defenders Edmilson and Gabri have all suffered almost identical injuries to Larsson in the space of the last two months. However, the club have pledged to honour a one-year extension to Larsson's contract, even as former Old Firm rival Giovanni van Bronckhorst has also pledged his support. "He's a real team player and when he comes on the pitch he gives 100 or 200 percent for the team. In the dressing room he is liked. He is a very good person and that is why everyone is very disappointed that especially Henrik has to get over his injuries," Bronckhorst said.Tough match Meanwhile, the visitors know they will face a tough match, after losing 3-1 in their first leg tie at Celtic Park they know that a draw for Barcelona on Wednesday will be enough to guarantee the Catalan club a last 16 berth. "In Barcelona the first half showed why they are such a terrific team. They played magnificently at Celtic park. They are a terrific team, playing as good as football as any team in Europe at the moment," said Martin O'Neill, Celtic Coach. Celtic managed a 0-0 draw at the Nou Camp in eliminating Barcelona from the UEFA Cup last March. But while the home side are markedly stronger, Celtic appear fragile. The Glasgow side's main problem is in defence. Celtic lead the Scottish Premier League by a point but they have conceded more goals than Rangers, Aberdeen and Hearts while they have leaked nine in four Champions League games. They need to win if they are to be in the hunt for a third-place finish and a UEFA Cup berth. (AP)



Topics : Football
Related Articles
El Clasico: Sergio Ramos Rescues Real Madrid With Late Equaliser vs Barcelona
El Clasico: Sergio Ramos Rescues Real Madrid With Late Equaliser vs Barcelona
ISL 2016: Mumbai City Finish on Top After Goalless Draw vs Delhi Dynamos
ISL 2016: Mumbai City Finish on Top After Goalless Draw vs Delhi Dynamos
Former Indian Footballer And Coach Syed Abdus Salam Dies at 77
Former Indian Footballer And Coach Syed Abdus Salam Dies at 77
Show Comments
Advertisement