Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Celtic vs Barcelona

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Published: 28/07/2016

Pre-season friendly preview and odds: Celtic vs Barcelona

July 30, 2016 19:05am - Aviva Stadium (Dublin)

Pre-season friendly

After a shaky start to his Celtic career, Brendan Rodgers has steadied the ship and now has a chance to test his side against one of the best teams on the planet when they take on a Barcelona side yet to kick a pre-season ball in Dublin on Friday.

Big test for Celtic against a Barca side playing first minutes of pre-season football

Brendan Rodgers had a nightmare start to his career north of the border, falling to Gibraltan minnows Lincoln Red Imps in his first game in charge. Since that Champions League first-leg qualifying defeat, things have gone a little better for the Northern Irishman.

They beat Wolfsburg 2-1 in a friendly and then overturned the defeat in Gibraltar with a 3-0 second-leg win at Celtic Park. That was followed up by a penalty shootout defeat to Premier League champions Leicester City and a Champions League qualifying draw away to Astana of Kazakhstan.

The Scottish champions will now face perhaps their biggest test of pre-season so far when they line up against the reigning La Liga champions in Dublin on Friday.

While, Celtic have some pre-season and competitive football under their belt, the Spanish side will be coming into this game cold having yet to play a game this summer. However, with so many players having featured at Euro 2016 and yet another busy schedule to look forward to, the lack of match practice will not be too much of a concern for Luis Enrique and his coaching staff.

The Spanish champions will follow up this game with friendly games against Leicester City, Liverpool and Sampdoria before they face Sevilla over two legs in the Spanish Super Cup.

The surprise news ahead of this match is that Lionel Messi (complete with new haircut) travelled with the Barcelona squad and is expected to make an appearance in this match. Luis Suarez was also on board the plane to Ireland and should also get some minutes.

Team news

Celtic squad

Goalkeepers:

Craig Gordon, Logan Bailly, Leo Fasan

Defenders:

Emilio Izaguirre, Efe Ambrose, Jozo Simunovic, Dedryck Boyata, Saidy Janko, Eoghan O`Connell, Erik Sviatchenko, Mikael Lustig, Kieran Tierney

Midfielders:

Nir Bitton, Scott Brown, Stuart Armstrong, Kris Commons, Gary Mackay-Steven, Ryan Christie, Tom Logic, Scott Allan, Kristoffer Ajer, Callum McGregor, James Forrest, Liam Henderson, Stefan Johansen

Forwards:

Leigh Griffiths, Nadir Ciftci, Patrick Roberts, Moussa Dembele

Barcelona squad

Goalkeepers:

Jordi Masip, Jose Suarez, Josep Martinez

Defenders:

Sergi Roberto, Adriano, Aleix Vidal, Jeremy Mathieu, Martin Montoya, Borja Lopez, Marlon, Nili, Jose Antonio Martinez

Midfielders:

Arda Turna, Denis Suarez, Sergi Samper, Gerard Gumbau, Alex Carbonell, Carles Alena, Jesus Alfaro, Juan Camara

Forwards:

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Cristian Tello, Rafa Mujica, Munir

Recent form (All competitions)

Barcelona: WWWWW

Celtic: DLWWL

Betting odds and tips

With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in the Barcelona squad, it could be a tricky afternoon for the Celtic defenders.

You can back Barca to win to nil at 5/6 with Bet365.

By Neil Morris

Any odds displayed within this article were correct at the time of publishing (28/07/2016) but are subject to change.

28/07/2016     © Frixo 2017

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