How Will They Line Up: Celtic vs Barcelona
Barcelona will be out for revenge when they travel to Celtic Park for Tuesday's Champions League clash, Bhoys defender Efe Ambrose has warned.
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The Scottish champions pulled off one of the surprise results of last season when they beat Barca 2-1 in Glasgow, having only lost by the same scoreline at the Camp Nou earlier in that term's group stage courtesy of Jordi Alba's stoppage-time winner.
After being drawn against the Catalan giants again this season, Ambrose is wary that they will be determined to make amends for that defeat, even without the injured Lionel Messi.
“We know it will be even more difficult and dangerous for us, because it will be like payback for them,” he told the Daily Telegraph. “A year ago, beating them was unbelievable -- so few people imagined that we could beat them. I believe this time Barcelona will be coming full force to Celtic Park to get something out of the game but, at the same time, we are also going to step it up.
“We know all eyes are on us to see if our victory last year was some kind of fluke or just down to luck. We have to prove that we can do it again at Celtic Park. We are not just playing for ourselves, we are playing for 60,000 fans who are the best in the world.
“Beating them last season was one of the best results in my career. It put us into the European limelight. It puts us onto the highest stage and we’ve been full in view of Europe since then. That game changed everything about how some people looked at Celtic.”
The Nigeria centre-back -- who played the full 90 minutes of both encounters against the Spanish champions last season -- also revealed his admiration for the team which leads La Liga again this term, and called upon his team-mates to follow manager Neil Lennon's instructions to the letter in their bid for a second straight win over Barca.
“Every day I watch Barcelona, so I knew all about them even before we played them last season,” the 24-year-old said.
“When you do, you are learning from people who are better and more experienced than you in many departments, so I watch it to make myself improve. I just have to do that to be better than I was last season and improve on any mistakes I made.
“Knowing what they do and stopping them from doing it are two different things, so we’ll have to step up and take on board what the management says to us. We have to play to the manager’s tactical discipline and that has been the key for us in the past -- also, playing like a team.