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Celtic don’t fear Barcelona, says boss Brendan Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (SNS Group / Craig Williamson)
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (SNS Group / Craig Williamson)

BOSS Brendan Rodgers insists Celtic will not be fearful of taking on Barcelona.

Ahead of his side’s Champions League group-stage opener at the Nou Camp, the Northern Irishman waxed lyrical about the talent at Barca, praising in particular Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez, whom he worked with at Liverpool.

However, Rodgers insists his players will be confident of causing an upset against the Spanish giants on Tuesday night.

“We won’t be fearful,” he said

“As a manager, in every game you go into you have to believe you can get a positive result.

“We respect that this is arguably the best team in the world with a front three that is maybe one of the best of all time.

“I know from working with Luis Suarez that he used to occupy a back four on his own.

“Put Neymar and Messi into that and it’s a very difficult task. We’re obviously in the early stages of working together but what I’ve seen in our team since I’ve worked with them is that they have a real hunger and desire to do very well in every training session and every game.

“So we respect this will be a really difficult game on the back of a really tough game with a great result at the weekend, but these are the types of games we want to be involved in.

“We have to try to come up with a plan that can get us a positive result.”

While Celtic go into the game on the back of a 5-1 win over Rangers, Barcelona slipped to a shock 2-1 home defeat at the weekend to newly-promoted Deportivo Alaves in La Liga.

Rodgers believes that such a shock result could simply serve to fire up Barca.

He said: “It can be positive (for Celtic) but also sometimes you can waken up a team when it has a result like that.

“Alaves did very well in the game, they defended well and with the possession they had, they created and scored two good goals.

“Luis Enrique made a number of changes to the team and every manager picks a team to get a result so he and the players will be disappointed, so it can be positive but it can also work the other way.

“When you work with big players, they always want to go out in the next game and have a good result and performance.”


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