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Europa League Group D

Alves: Barca need first goal

Dani Alves has urged Barcelona to go for an early away goal when they tackle Celtic in Tuesday's Champions League clash.

Last Updated: 01/10/13 at 11:42 Post Comment

Dani Alves: Expecting tough encounter at Celtic

Dani Alves: Expecting tough encounter at Celtic

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Barca will be in action again at Parkhead in Group H almost 11 months after they suffered a 2-1 defeat on their last visit.

Victor Wanyama struck after 21 minutes of that contest and Celtic survived a Barca onslaught to go further in front through substitute Tony Watt before Lionel Messi pulled a goal back in the closing moments.

Alves played the full 90 minutes in that game and is wary of Celtic, particularly after the Hoops lost 2-0 at AC Milan in their opener a fortnight ago.

"Celtic have surprised us in the past year and we need to avoid that again," said Alves.

"This match will not be easy because they were defeated on Matchday One and another defeat would nearly mean goodbye to the competition for them.

"Barca are superior in all aspects but in the Champions League, a comfortable match never exists. We go to Glasgow expecting a serious match, but to add three points.

"Without doubt, we're the favourites. I'm convinced that the situation a year ago will not be repeated. We've learned from that experience.

"The plan for us at Celtic is to break through the line in front of the defenders and behind the midfielders. And also to score the first goal."

Alves says he has watched Celtic's defeat a fortnight ago in the San Siro, in which Neil Lennon's men came close to scoring before conceding a late own goal and a Sulley Muntari strike.

"I have viewed the video and it was really difficult for Milan," he added. "Only in the end phase of the match did they win it, and that has to be a warning for us.

"The key to the match is possession. We don't want to be made to play Celtic's way, so we must show our own characteristics on the pitch. If we pass the ball well, we'll be the winners."

Alves insists the passion and noise at Parkhead will certainly not intimidate him and his team-mates.

"The atmosphere at Celtic Park is always great," added Alves. "With the music and songs from the crowd. For a footballer, that's an extra incentive and never a problem."

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