Celtic are back in the Champions League after a period of two years and will travel to Camp Nou on Tuesday to face Luis Enrique’s mighty Barcelona who starts each and every Champions League campaign as one of the major favourites. During Ronny Deila’s two-year tenure at Parkhead, Celtic were knocked out of the Champions League qualifiers and it was probably Brendan Rodgers’ biggest priority to make the group stage of the elite competition in Europe and the Northern Irishman has delivered that.
Celtic got a very tough group in the Champions League with Barcelona, Manchester City, and Borussia Monchengladbach but Rodgers’ boys will be looking to shock the European stage after their 100% start in the Premiership. The Bhoys are on the back of a 5-1 emphatic win against rivals Rangers from Saturday and will be high with confidence as they head to Spain.
The two sides met each other on July 30th in the International Champions Cup. Although it was just a friendly, Barcelona outclassed the Hoops with relative ease. However, Rodgers’ boys, high on momentum, can prove to be a tricky opponent for Enrique’s all-star Barcelona. Here is the predicted Celtic lineup for the game.
Dorus de Vries is likely to continue under the bar ahead of Craig Gordon as it is quite evident that Rodgers rates the Dutchman more than the Scottish international. Against Barcelona, Rodgers will be playing his best possible XI and we are unlikely to see any alterations to the back four. Kolo Toure will start alongside Erik Sviatchenko while Mikael Lustig and Kieran Tierney will keep their places in the two full-back positions.
Scott Brown and Nir Bitton both impressed against Rangers and are likely to keep their places against Barcelona. Brown, the Celtic skipper, was struggling in the final minutes and was withdrawn for Callum McGregor although it did not seem like a serious injury.
Tom Rogic was lively against Rangers and was withdrawn early probably because of the Barcelona game only. The Aussie is likely to start as a number ten while Forrest and Sinclair are likely to keep their places on the flanks.
Leigh Griffiths is out with a hamstring injury but Moussa Dembele did really well in his absence against Rangers as he bagged a stunning hat-trick. The young Frenchman will lead the line for the Hoops against mighty Barcelona.