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Celtic v Barcelona

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Messi: Barca's little maestro

Messi: Barca's little maestro

Barcelona can secure their qualification to the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League when they travel to Celtic on Wednesday evening.

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The Spanish giants edged Celtic 2-1 at Camp Nou last time out, full-back Jordi Alba netting in stoppage time to help his side claim all three points and make it three wins from three games.

Celtic, meanwhile, occupy second place in Group G with four points from their opening three fixtures.

Bhoys boss Neil Lennon could be tempted to name the same starting line-up that faced Barca in Spain, with striker Georgios Samaras set to start again after being rested for Sunday's 2-2 draw with Dundee United at Tannadice Park.

Winger Kris Commons is pushing for a starting berth after netting a hat-trick in the 5-0 victory over St Johnstone in the Scottish Cup last week.

Blaugrana manager Tito Vilanova welcomes defender Gerard Pique back into the first-team fold, with the 25-year-old now fully recovered from a foot injury.

However, fellow centre-half Carles Puyol remains on the treatment table with an elbow injury, while midfielder Sergio Busquets misses out through suspension.

Alex Song could be shifted into the holding midfield role in the absence of Busquets, with Javier Mascherano set to continue in defence.

Full-back Dani Alves is also available for selection, but forward Adriano is rated doubtful and will undergo a late fitness test.

Striker David Villa and forward Alexis Sanchez are expected to lineup alongside Lionel Messi in Barcelona's front three.

Posted: 06/11/12 16:03

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