The elite club competition in Europe – UEFA Champions League -- is set to enthral audience as the group stage of the competition is scheduled to start from Tuesday. A number of big teams, including Barcelona will feature on the first day of the competition, as they face Scottish side Celtic at Camp Nou.
Barcelona is one of the best teams in the competition, and determined to do well in the Champions League this season. Barcelona was shown the exit doors by Atletico Madrid in the quarterfinals last season. Luis Enrique's team is in tricky Group C, which includes Manchester City, Borussia Monchengladbach and Celtic.
The Spanish giants, like all other teams, will be keen to get off to a winning start in the Champions League. With players like Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Neymar among other stars, Barca is always going to be a team to beat in the competition. However, Barcelona is not coming into the match with huge confidence as the team lost to newly promoted team in the La Liga, Alaves, who emerged victorious with 2-1 scoreline.
For the match against Alaves, manager Enrique had started with the likes of Messi, Iniesta and Suarez in the bench. But, the gaffer is expected to play with his best and fit XI against Celtic. Barcelona, after the humiliating loss, will be eager to come with the best, and send warning signs to other teams in the competition.
Though Barcelona will start the match as favourites, Celtic cannot be taken lightly by any team in the competition. The team has already played some huge matches in the domestic league, and with great success, which includes a 5-1 thrashing of rival Rangers. Celtic is on top of the Scottish Premier League, with quartet of wins.
Celtic has scored 15 goals in the competition so far, but the team members will have to be on top of their toes to score goals past Barcelona. After conceding two goals in the last match, Barcelona defenders are aware of the need to be strong, and in form Celtic players like Moussa Demeble, who scored a hat-trick against Rangers, will be keen to exploit its defence.
Rodgers might be forced to play Demeble, who featured in the Old Firm derby due to an injury to striker Leigh Griffiths. Celtic fans will remember their visit to Camp Nou in 2013 which was embarrassing as the scoreline ended 6-1 in favour of the hosts. But this team under Rodgers will hope for a commanding performance in Spain.
Barcelona vs Celtic Champions League schedule
Date: Sept. 13, Tuesday
Venue: Camp Nou
Time: 8.45 pm CET (12.15 am IST, 7.45 pm BST, 2.45 pm ET)
TV Listings: India: Ten 1 HD. UK: BT Sport 3. US: Fox Sports 1. Australia: beIN Sports 3 Australia. Spain: Antena 3, TV3