Celtic Park

Next Game

Celtic v Ross Co

Saturday, 27 December 2014, 15:00

Scots Prem

Tannadice Park

Last Game

Dundee U 2 - 1 Celtic

Sunday, 21 December 2014, 12:15

Scots Prem

Lennon: Messi absence a boost

Celtic boss Neil Lennon believes the absence of Barcelona striker Lionel Messi is a boost for his side ahead of Tuesday's Champions League tie at Celtic Park.

Last Updated: 30/09/13 at 17:09 Post Comment

Lennon: Hopes for repeat of last year's 2-1 victory over Barca

Lennon: Hopes for repeat of last year's 2-1 victory over Barca

The Argentine was ruled out for up to three weeks after injuring his thigh in the 2-0 league victory over Almeria last Saturday.

But despite the loss of Messi, and a reported defensive crisis with Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Carles Puyol missing, Lennon is not expecting his side to see much of the ball against the Spaniards.

"It is obviously very good news for us that he is out because he is the best player in the world, but our approach will be the same whether he played or not," he told Sky Sports News.

"However, it is tinged with sadness because it is always fantastic to see the great players play here in Glasgow.

"Barcelona don't change their system, they don't change their style of play and 4-3-3 is just what they believe in. It has worked well for them very well over the years.

"They are supposed to have defensive problems through injuries, but they seem to keep on having clean sheets.

"They never conceded against Vallecano, Sociedad and Almeria so regardless of the personnel they are still defending very, very well."

However, Lennon, who led the Hoops to a memorable 2-1 victory over Barca on their way to the final 16 last season, admits his side may struggle to match the visitors for possession.

"It does help if you can get the ball off them and have a sustained period of pressure," he added. "But we will look to try and exploit any weakness they may show on the night.

"It will be very much at times containment, to limit Barcelona to as few chances as we can and at the same time maximise the opportunities that we get, as we did last year."

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

really enjoyed this. Thanks F365 for another year of work avoidance - happy Christmas.

megabrow (cufc)
Our Person Of The Year: Alan Pardew

I

m no Sam Fan and this article sums him up beautifully. I always like to imagine that when he watches anything on TV and hears clapping, he stands up and aknowledges the applause, thinking its for him!

cozens
Football Managers On TV: Sam Allardyce

N

ah, Fergie is just having another pop at Rooney. He just wants to put him down whenever he gets a chance. Rooney is by far the best English player. Carrick is not far behind, mind. However, by elevating Carrick like that, Sir is having a dig at Wayne. Fergie is well-known for mind games like that. Good to see he's still feisty.

timbo
Van Gaal will thrive - Ferguson

Footer 365

Premier League: Jose Mourinho admits being a fan of West Ham ahead of Boxing Day showdown

Jose Mourinho has backtracked on his 19th century football jib against West Ham ahead of today's showdown with Chelsea.

Premier League: QPR look for result against Arsenal, Rio Ferdinand in selection contention

QPR boss Harry Redknapp says Rio Ferdinand could be back in the team as the squad is rotated through the festive period.

Premier League: Nemanja Matic says Chelsea can win quadruple

Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic insists the Blues can win the quadruple this season.

Mail Box

Van Gaal's Half-Term Report Card...

One Man United fan isn't happy with the rate the team is progressing under Louis van Gaal, while the mailbox also wishes Liverpool fans a Merry Mid-Table Christmas...

Hang On, Rafa's Success Is No Fluke...

The afternoon mailbox kicks the morning mailbox's arse after claims that Rafa Benitez has fluked his success. Plus, big talk about Liverpool's progress and lots more...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property