Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Celtic battling Messi and woeful record in Spain

22 October 2012, 10:20

Madrid - Celtic will have to reverse a horrible record in Spain and cope with a Barcelona side fired by the scintillating form of Lionel Messi if they are to reap an unlikely reward from Tuesday's Champions League Group G clash at the Nou Camp.

The Scottish champions, second in the group behind the 2009 and 2011 winners after two matches, have never managed a win on 12 trips to the Iberian nation, slumping to nine defeats and three draws.

Favourites Barca are unbeaten in 17 European home outings, winning 14, going back to a 2-1 defeat against Rubin Kazan in October 2009.

Their Argentine World Player of the Year Messi, top scorer in Europe's elite club competition the past four seasons, netted his 21st hat-trick for the club on Sunday in a 5-4 La Liga win at Deportivo Coruna.

The unstoppable 25-year-old took his tally in 2012 for club and country to 71, leaving him only four short of the record of 75 set by Brazil great Pele in 1959.

Celtic coach Neil Lennon, who played twice for the club at the Nou Camp and came away with two draws, knows the size of the task but said he believes his side is capable of preventing Barca from making it three group wins out of three.

"I'm not saying we're going to go there and get hammered," Celtic coach Neil Lennon was quoted as saying in the Scotsman newspaper on Sunday.

"We're going to try to get something out of the game, but we know how monumentally difficult that will be," he added.

"They can pin you back for long periods but I still want us to have some kind of outlet where we can get a foothold in our attacking half and create chances.

"It's do-able, it's feasible. I've seen Spanish clubs do it and I've seen European teams do it. We'll study a lot of footage and take it from there."

Injury Worries

While Celtic are on a high after Saturday's 5-0 drubbing of St Mirren, a performance Lennon described as the team's best of the season, they have a number of injury worries.

Midfielder Kris Commons has a hamstring problem, while Lennon said forward Lassad, who knows Barca well from his stint at Deportivo, was "a major doubt" with a groin strain.

Lennon's Barca counterpart Tito Vilanova has his own selection problems, with a suspension for Sergio Busquets coming on top of injuries to centre backs Carles Puyol and Gerard Pique and right back Daniel Alves.

Although Barca conceded four goals on Saturday for the first time since March 2009 - they were down to 10 men for most of the second half after the dismissal of Javier Mascherano - Vilanova did not seem overly concerned.

"These players, with everything they have won, coming back from international duty and with only 10 on the pitch, they showed the passion they have to keep winning," he told a news conference.

"They showed desire when everything was going against us and I prefer to focus on how much Messi and his team mates ran around after having just returned from playing for their national sides."

Probable teams:

Barcelona: 1-Victor Valdes; 19-Martin Montoya, 14-Javier Mascherano, 21-Adriano, 18-Jordi Alba; 6-Xavi, 25-Alex Song, 8-Andres Iniesta; 17-Pedro, 10-Lionel Messi, 7-David Villa

Celtic: 1-Fraser Forster; 2-Adam Matthews, 6-Kelvin Wilson, 4-Efe Ambrose, 21-Charlie Mulgrew; 33-Beram Kayal, 67-Victor Wanyama, 16-Joe Ledley; 88-Gary Hooper; 32-Tony Watt, 7-Nicolas Fedor 

- Reuters


Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Wilson Ochieng
DP Ruto accuses Raila of selling ...

DP Wiliam Ruto has castigated Raila Odinga for seeking western support to fund his 2017 election bid. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Peter Kenneth announces Uhuru 201...

Peter Kenneth has announced that he will support President Uhuru Kenyatta in the 2017 elections. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilon Ochieng
Labour Party to dump both Jubilee...

The Labour Party of Kenya is likely to avoid supportoing both the CORD and Jubilee factions during the 2017 General Elections. Read more...

Submitted by
William Korir
Ukambani MP quits Jubilee, to run...

An Ukambani MP has quit the Jubilee Party, citing voter apathy as his reason behind leaving the ruling coalition. Read more...

Submitted by
Victor Tinto
Government launches probe into Po...

The government has launched an inquiry into the circumstances that could have led to two National Police Service helicopter accidents in August and September this year. Read more...

Submitted by
Wilwon Ochieng
Deputy Governor's ally found with...

The EACC has recovered KES 2 million in fake currency from a close ally of Deputy Governor for Tharaka Nithi Eliud Mati. Read more...