Celtic quartet back for Barca trip

Published Oct. 22, 2012 9:16 a.m. ET

Scott Brown, James Forrest, Georgios Samaras and Kris Commons are in Celtic's travelling party for the clash with Barcelona.

The quartet were all in Celtic's party which checked in at Glasgow Airport on Monday morning ahead of the trip to Barcelona for Tuesday night's Champions League clash with the Group G leaders at the Nou Camp.

All four missed Saturday's 5-0 Scottish Premier League win over St Mirren in Paisley with various ailments.

Assistant Johan Mjallby said: "They are in the squad which means they are in contention. Dylan McGeouch and Lassad (Nouioui) are not travelling."

Defenders Adam Matthews and Kelvin Wilson suffered knee and calf complaints during the win over St Mirren but have recovered.

Former Celtic defender Mjallby watched Lionel Messi score a hat-trick in on Saturday night and admits it will be difficult to snuff out the Argentina superstar.

He said: "I was there watching it live and what can you say, he is up there with the best to grace the game. He is just fantastic. I don't know how you can stop him. He doesn't really play as a recognised striker.


"What they do, if you are a centre-half, is take you out of your comfort zone and that is something you don't like.

"So we need to tell our defenders that they are going to be out of their comfort zone and need to gamble a wee bit, and that they can't count on their team-mates to give you cover.

"Sometime you are going to end up one versus one with a Barcelona striker and you have to live with it.

"We know we can't switch off for a second, we know they are brilliant going forward.

"But we are not going to focus on Lionel Messi, they have another nine (outfield) guys who can play football."

The Scottish champions have taken four points from their first two group games.

A goalless draw against Benfica at Celtic Park was followed by an historic 3-2 away win against Spartak Moscow to leave Celtic behind their hosts at the top of the section.

However, Mjallby is well aware of the task that awaits Celtic.

He said: "We want to get something out of it but we are not daft. We are going to play one of the best teams in the world and they are awesome going forward.

"They are going to be massive favourites.

"We will think of a way to stop them but we can't just sit in and defend, it's not the type of football we play.

"When we get the ball we need to make sure we don't panic and we keep it, but obviously it is going to be a difficult task.

"They are a brilliant team but that's what this competition is about, it is a great challenge for us.

"Instead of being afraid and showing them too much respect we should see this is as a big challenge for us.

"This group of players are improving all the time and hopefully we can catch them on a bad day and upset them."