The first matchup between these two teams was a shocking return to the Champions League for Celtic as they lost 7-0 at Nou Camp. Getting out of a group featuring Barca and Man City was always going to be difficult and now progressing to the knockout round requires to beat both teams in consecutive matches. Luckily, Celtic Park is not an easy trip, proven by their 3-3 draw with City earlier in the competition. Barcelona are coming off a 0-0 draw with Malaga over the weekend and lost 3-1 to City in their last group match. While they were without Messi, Suarez, and Iniesta over the weekend, there is a sense that Luis Enrique lacks the creativity to adjust his squad adequately in adverse circumstances. They’ll make it into the knockout round with either a win, or a draw if Gladbach fail to beat City.
By beating Israeli side Hapoel Be'er Sheva in their playoff, Celtic are back in the group stage after missing out for two straight years. Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers began to put his stamp on the club by signing former Fulham hot prospect Moussa Dembele, despite interest from various EPL clubs, along with EPL journeyman Scott Sinclair and two time Premier League winning defender, Kolo Toure. Striker Leigh Griffiths will again lead the line after scoring 40 goals in all competitions last season. After having a few comfortable years in the Scottish Premier League without rivals Rangers, proving themselves in the Champions League is necessary to be seen as more than just a big fish in a very small pond.
With the trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar up front, Barcelona are automatic contenders for the Champions League. Last season, they managed a domestic double, but lost 3-2 on aggregate in the quarterfinals to eventual runners-up Atletico Madrid. Their starting eleven will be largely the same, bolstered by centerback Samuel Umtiti, who starred for France at the Euros and a few other up-and-comers to fill out the squad. After satiating their appetite for domestic silverware and watching two league rivals face off in last year’s final, expect La Blaugrana to make winning the Champions League priority number one. Plus, after a season of playing in sacrilegious horizontal stripes, they’re back to their traditional vertical.
Scored a perfect hattrick in his first Old Firm derby, making him an instant hero.
Played for Arsenal's Invincibles before joining Manchester City and, later, Liverpool.