Celtic V Barcelona- Match Preview
Updated Wednesday, 7th November 2012
Celtic V Barcelona - view commentary, squad, and statistics of the game live.Emilio Izaguirre, Thomas Rogne, James Forrest and Lassad have all been ruled out for Celtic against Barcelona.
Top scorer Gary Hooper is also very doubtful through injury, but it is hoped that fellow striker Georgios Samaras will be passed fit.
Gerard Pique has been added to Barcelona's squad after returning from injury, but Adriano misses out.
The defender joins Carles Puyol and Thiago in being missing through injury, with Sergio Busquets suspended. Samaras, Hooper and winger Forrest all missed Celtic's 2-2 draw with Dundee United, while defenders Rogne and Emilio Izaguirre both came off injured with a calf straing and hamstring problem respectively.
Manager Neil Lennon has revealed that Izaguirre has been ruled out for six weeks, while Rogne and Forrest will also be missing for at least two weeks.
"It's hugely disruptive as they are big players, have been for a while and were pivotal to how we wanted to play tomorrow," said the manager.
"We are a little bit stretched, but we will still have a strong team to play tomorrow evening."
Lennon is hopeful that Samaras will recover from injury in time to play in the Group G tie at Celtic Park.
"It's important he makes it anyway," said the Celtic manager. "He has been unlucky this season with injuries.
"Obviously he came back from Barcelona and played very well until he picked up the ankle injury. We are hoping he is going to make kick-off."
Celtic captain Scott Brown has been struggling with a persistent hip problem. Messi and Pique could both be fit to face Celtic in Glasgow However, after Lennon resisted the temptation to rest the Scotland midfielder and he lasted 90 minutes at Tannadice, the player himself feels he is over the worst of his injury problems.
Barcelona have won all three of their Champions League games so far, leaving them top of Group G on nine points, five clear of Celtic in second place and one point short of ensuring qualification for the next round. Despite their own injury problems, Saturday's 3-1 win over Celta Vigo - their ninth in 10 Primera Liga games - ensured their best start to a domestic campaign in the club's 113-year history.
Tito Vilanova's side eclipsed the previous best, established in 1997 under the stewardship of Dutch coach Louis van Gaal, with whom the Catalan club won eight and drew one match after being defeated on the opening day of the season. Barca are now top of the table on 28 points, three ahead of Atletico Madrid and eight in front of rivals Real Madrid.
Argentine midfielder Lionel Messi does not appear to have been troubled by a knock to his knee that briefly required treatment against Celta Vigo. He scored twice on his last appearance at Celtic Park in 2007 and a repeat performance in Glasgow would lift the 25-year-old to 75 goals in 2012, matching Pele's total for club and country in 1958.
Prior to Saturday's match, Messi, who became a father for the first time on Friday, paraded his Golden Boot trophy for being the top scorer in Europe's domestic leagues last season. However, it was Adriano who opened the scoring against Celta Vigo before limping off with a leg injury, with Barca's other goals coming David Villa and Jordi Alba after Mario Bermejo's equaliser. Pique has not played since suffering a foot injury against Spartak Moscow on 19 September but could return to a side short of defensive cover because of the continued absence of Puyol and Adriano should he pass a late fitness test