Barcelona v Celtic tips: Hoops can grab a goal at Camp Nou
Celtic's first real test of the season comes on Tuesday evening. How will they fare against the might of Barcelona? I think we all know the answer to that question.
September 12th, 2016
As usual, Celtic have made an excellent start to the domestic season and stormed to the top of the Scottish Premiership table. No surprise there then. As usual, they have also struggled in their Champions League qualifiers. No surprise there either.
Nevertheless, despite a few scares along the way, the Hoops find themselves in the lucrative group stages of Europe’s top-tier club competition and facing them in their first match are European giants Barcelona.
To say that Celtic are in for a tough test would be a huge understatement, however bearing in mind that Gibraltan minnows Lincoln Red Imps shocked Brendan Rodgers’ side by winning 1-0 in the qualifiers, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility that the Scottish champions could themselves give the 2015 European champions a massive scare in this opening group stage match. We’re not holding our breath though.
The Catalan side were dumped out of last season’s competition at the quarter-final stage by domestic rivals Atletico Madrid, however they are 7/2 favourites to once again be crowned champions in 2017. To say that they will be anxious ahead of Tuesday evening’s clash would be a lie, however despite winning the corresponding tie 6-1 in the 2013/14 Champions League, the hosts will be affording the visitors all of the respect that they deserve.
Much has been written regarding the state of the Scottish game and how this is reflected by Celtic’s lack of success in Europe, however the fact remains that there is a huge gulf between the Hoops and most of the clubs on the continent. This should be ably demonstrated at the Nou Camp on Tuesday evening.
Celtic should manage to find the back of the net at some point given that they failed to score in just one of their five meetings over the past four years, however it is likely to prove little more than a consolation effort in what could ultimately prove to be a thoroughly one-sided affair.