Celtic’s advantage over Barcelona


Outrageous results, and a 4-5 win is an outrageous result, could be seen as reason for encouragement by future opponents, but Barcelona played the majority of the game against Deportivo with 10 men, scored an own goal, conceded from a penalty and their keeper made a mistake for another, yet they still scored five goals and won the game.

That is formidable form.

On Tuesday evening Celtic face one of the greatest teams in history but there is reason for confidence.  We have been to the Camp Nou three times in the last decade, a 0-0 draw in 2004 was enough to eliminate the Catalans from Europe.  Later in 2004 we recorded our only away point in the Champions League, prior to beating Spartak Moscow in the last game, and we lost there to a single goal four years later.

Each Barcelona side was vastly more talented but they found each Celtic team a handful.

Any team which takes a point or more from Barca this season will have to man the barricades for long stretches of each game, will have to show enormous concentration and discipline, and take whatever luck is going.  If Celtic do this, they will have one inherent advantage over the home team on Tuesday.

There will be changes in the starting 11 for both teams but a cursory look at yesterday’s starting line ups is educational.  Eight out of Barca’s 10 outfield players were under six foot, six of them (Jordi Alba, Iniesta, Mascherano, Messi, Montoya and Villa) three or four inches below.  Celtic’s smallest player, Gary Hooper, is only two inches below.

Seven Celts were six foot or higher.  Ambrose, Wilson and Mulgrew are all 6’3”, taller than anyone in the Barca team, while non-starters, Lustig and Samaras, are 6’3” and 6’4” respectively.  Celtic’s outfield players were, on average, more than three inches taller than their Barcelona counterparts.

Even the Barcelona keeper, Valdes, at 6’0”, is a bit on the short side, seven inches below Fraser Forster.

Height doesn’t make you a better player, or collectively, a better team, but it does instil an enormous advantage at set pieces.  Celtic must defend when necessary but any free kick inside the Barcelona half is an opportunity to drop a ball onto an elevated Celtic head inside the box.

Play to your strengths, Celtic. Keep strategy simple, and your probability of taking something on Tuesday will increase significantly. You have everything to play for.

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  1. Paul just a mention for your fixed odd tip about not backing the bhoys to win yesterday :) you sponsored by bet365 these days

  2. winning captains



    13:45 on 21 October, 2012






    Re Victor Wanyama image






    Image looks great, you okay with us using it in CQN Magazine?






    Sure thing Winning Captain feel free to use it






    Hail Hail

  3. Re-post from the tail-end of last thread…………



    Wee message of thanks to Mort from the other day re ‘sparklines’……Many, many thanks……..


    Was asked (by a good friend) if I would re-post or email an old article from some time ago in our then club website. It was the sad loss of Joe McBride that prompted the request but I couldn’t find it anywhere………..


    Have managed to relocate said piece following your suggestion……… Cheers……



    If anyone on here is interested, it is linked below……… I hope!






    Regards & Hail Hail



  4. Doctor Whatfor on

    I thought that we looked more dangerous at set pieces yesterday than we have in a few seasons. The trick will be getting the corner kicks to try and use that height advantage. Also St Mirren ain’t Barca.

  5. GlasgowBhoy, indeed, that’s how I got third.


    Read the article now, height advantage may give us an edge, but we will need to get into their half first, then we do have a few who can deliver quality into the box, Charlie and Kris being the obvious candidates.

  6. Doctor whatfor


    From the last thread



    Are you seeing a link between hitler and ian black ….. Adolf black the goose stepping football painter

  7. 14:05 on 21 October, 2012


    Afternoon , enjoyed our performance yesterday, won at a canter. The new bhoys have added to the competition for places . I don’t envy Neills job picking the first XI.



    After Barcas performance last night how about a 4-4 on Tuesday. I see Stv are advertising the man utd game for Tuesday are we only on sky !!!! anyone know if that is correct?



    I have been away this week and I beleive i have some catching up to do , apparently Agent Whyte has given an interview and Green continues to talk pash.

  8. Paul



    I think you should incude a simple question near the middle of any new article and any of the first ten posts on the new update which do not include the answer will not be awarded the chocolate podium medal…. Or for that matter be included in any new world new world world records regading podium places ….

  9. Paul67,


    Totally agree on using our height advantage , especially at throw ins – Adam Matthews needs to launch them.


    The other one for me is a bit of a double edged sword.


    Refs will give free kicks without second thoughts 10 /12 yards into an opponents half.


    We can use this to our advantage, and let Charlie launch one into the box.


    The negative of this is that Big Vic is prone to giving away free kicks , particularly when he comes from behind the opponent. When 6ft + Vic tackles Xavi from the side 30 yards out from our goal, the ref will only give the decision one way. As a result, I would prefer either Beram or Broony play as sitting midfielders , and I would let Vic push on…..almost opposite of yesterday.

  10. 67Heaven ... I am Neil Lennon..!!.. Ibrox belongs to the creditors on

    After their ‘display’ against zombies2, don’t want them to win ANY game ……mon hertz

  11. It’s nerve racking for me the build up to a CL game, as I live in Denmark and Danish side Nordsjælland’s games are played the same night as ours, so of course they’re a shooey in for live coverage on one of the 2 channels showing CL footie.



    But I knew in my heart of hearts that us against barcelona would be the game chosen to be shown on the other channel and I’m pleased as hell that it will indeed be shown.



    There’s something special about this squad we have right now, I honestly think it’s the best team we’ve had since the days of Stan, Henke, Sutton etc etc.



    I honestly think we’ll get at least 2 points from the double header against Barcelona and I believe we’ll progress to the last 16.

  12. I’d agree 100% Paul. Set pieces in Barca’s half will probably be our best chance to score.



    However I wouldn’t be surprised if we do score from open play on the break.



    Keeping them out will of course determine whether any goals we may score have an impact on the final result.



    The pressure is off in many ways and confidence in our own abilities is high so providing we do keep their chances to a minimum a positive result can be achieved.




  13. The Battered Bunnet on

    Having reviewed Barcelona’s options for Tuesday night, I’ve considered which strategies we might deploy, and have come up with the following formation for Celtic, giving cover in the key areas:









    Matthews, Lustig, Rogne, Ambrose, Wilson, Mulgrew, Izaguirre



    ——————————-Kayal —- Wanyama————————-













  14. TBB



    Hard to disagree with that line up…..but you missed oot Paddy McCourt,be prepared


    for verbals.HH

  15. Paul, Corners and free kicks are important. More important though is delivery from these set pieces. This is where Kris Commons and Adam Matthews come in. Charlie is the best deliverer of a set piece but his height is important.



    Our most important defenders will be Hoops Commons and Sammy. Defend from the front and pressurise Mascherano and Song BEFORE they give the ball to Xavi and Iniesta.







  16. Doctor



    I had a wee lurk through rm last night … Apparently adolf had a wee incident with some zombies in the east enclosure near the end of the new firm d3 match


    He was running into space at the queens park end but turned and passed a long ball into his own half rather than push for a second


    As you might expect … Loadsa zombies groaned ( isnt that the zombie noise ) and some verbals were thrown about being negative ( in a football sense … Dont think they were questioning his painting )



    Anyhoo … Adolf allegedly gave them the w@nkers sign ;)



    (H) oops

  17. The Boy Jinky



    Adolf???????/ could be anyone of thems,geeza clue.


    Good to see you posting mate ,HH.

  18. Doctor Whatfor on




    He has some good judgement then. I’ve indulged in that sort of tomfoolery towards zombies myself in my more impetuous youth but I’m stopping short of declaring that ‘We all Adolf Black’

  19. The Battered Bunnet on




    McCourt will come on for Commons, and McGeouch for Forrest.



    Stokes has nae chance tho…



    Amongst the absurdity, is the team that didn’t start yesterday.



    The first team squad at Celtic Park has more talent than Ranger’s Impartial List Of Ladies Of Pleasure. Play that on the silent flute.

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