Celtic are unbeaten at home in 19 European matches and have kept clean sheets in the two previous visits of Barcelona, but Celtic manager MartinO’Neill accepts that Frank Rijkaard’s side start the matchh as favourites.
“They should win the game given the quality they have added to their squad,” said O’Neill.
“But there are loads of matches going on every single day around the world where teams should win games. Do I think we can win it? Absolutely – there’s no reason why we cannot win the game. It’s a hard task for us but not an insurmountable one.”
Unsurprisingly, the return of Henrik Larsson, who scored 242 goals in his seven-year Celtic spell, has been the focus of attention in Glasgow.
Former team-mate Neil Lennon said: “I think he will get a tremendous welcome from the crowd, but I would not like to be in Henrik’s shoes. It has come so quick off the back of him leaving Celtic. He was here for seven years and it’s only a couple of months since he left the club, so it’s bound to be an emotional night for him.”
Celtic are boosted by the return of Chris Sutton. Didier Agathe and Stanislav Varga have also recovered from injury while Bobo Balde should play in defence despite a back problem.
Barcelona coach, Rijkaard, refused to say whether Larsson would start against his former team-mates.
“I have made up my mind but I am not telling you,” the coach responded when asked about Larsson.
“He is a fantastic player. People love him here at Celtic because he was a great professional and a great person in the dressing room.”
Barcelona are without Brazilian midfield player Thiago Motta who ruptured his knee ligaments at the weekend, along with compatriot Edmílson, who is susppended.