Celtic v Barcelona tips: A goal but no points for Hoops tonight
We expect a comfortable win for Barcelona at Celtic Park tonight but the hosts can enjoy a consolation goal as they wave goodbye to their European adventure
November 23rd, 2016
Celtic managed the impossible by beating Barcelona in the 2012 Champions League and they must manage a repeat of this tonight should they have ambitions of finishing third in their group. Brendan Rodgers will be his usual positive self ahead of this clash and he will be confident of his side’s chances of causing an upset at Celtic Park, however we’re not in the slightest bit optimistic about the likelihood of the Hoops getting one over on a Barca side which can boast one of the world’s strongest front threes.
Suarez’ suspension and the absence of Messi through illness meant that a weakened Barcelona could only manage a goal-less draw with Malaga in their last outing, however both players are now back in the fold and ready to take part in tonight’s match. Indeed, having had time to rest after a gruelling journey to South America in the World Cup qualifiers, the pair may be at their most dangerous and this is certainly bad news for a Celtic side who were on the receiving end of a 7-0 annihilation at the Nou Camp earlier in the campaign.
Rodgers adopted a defensive approach in that match but it was ultimately to no avail as Barca went on the rampage and subjected the Hoops to their biggest defeat in any competition since 1937. Indeed the Celtic boss will have accepted that this tactic may have been a mistake and he will likely go an all-attacking approach as he did against Manchester City. Celtic took the lead on three occasions in that match and whilst they could only manage a single point from the eventual 3-3 draw they will clearly have taken a large amount of confidence from their performance.
Barcelona thrashed Manchester City 4-0 at the Nou Camp but the Catalans’ defensive frailties were exposed in the return match when the Citizens won 3-1 at the Etihad. Celtic will be looking to once again expose any weaknesses in the Barca back line and we should se a pretty open game tonight at Celtic Park.
Clearly Celtic need to find the back of the net and failure to do so would effectively mean that even a draw would almost certainly be beyond them. Moussa Dembele should have managed to get onto the scoresheet at the Nou Camp but having missed from the penalty spot in the first half it was not to be and the Hoops will be eager to get off to the best of possible starts by slotting home at some point tonight.
Ultimately, irrespective of whether Celtic manage to find the net tonight, their European adventure is almost certainly at an end. They won’t manage anything from tonight’s encounter with Barcelona and whilst some would argue that they gave the competition their best shot, they were realistically onto a hiding for nothing in what was a very difficult group and we believe that they will go out with a whimper tonight.
Barcelona have their weaknesses and these may be tested tonight but they won’t be having many concerns ahead of tonight’s match. Indeed once Barca get into their stride it will be game-over for the home side and there is potential for a decent betting return by backing the Spaniards on the handicap market with Barcelona -2 decent value at 2/1 with Paddy Power. Even better value can be had by registering a new account with the same bookmaker (assuming that you don’t already have one) and taking advantage of their ‘new customer’ offer of 4/1 on a Barcelona victory, although you can only bet a maximum of £10 at this price.