Hobbled Barca still look too good for Celtic

Celtic have only scored two goals in the group, both against Ajax at Parkhead

Celtic manager Neil Lennon faces the media ahead their Uefa Champions League Group H match against FC Barcelona. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Celtic manager Neil Lennon faces the media ahead their Uefa Champions League Group H match against FC Barcelona. Photograph: David Ramos/Getty Images

Tue, Dec 10, 2013, 23:07

Camp Nou, 7.45pm (Setanta Ireland, Sky Sports 4)   

Republic of Ireland international Anthony Stokes concedes Celtic’s campaign has faltered in front of goal but the striker is looking to make amends in the final fixture against Barcelona tonight.

Neil Lennon’s men qualified for the last 16 of the competition last year but have three points from five Group H games and are guaranteed to finish bottom of the section this season without even the safety net of the Europa League in the new year.

Celtic have only scored two goals in the group, both in the 2-1 win over Ajax at Parkhead in October, which led Republic of Ireland forward Stokes to say: “We just haven’t taken our opportunities in front of goal . . . We are obviously disappointed that there is not more to play for . . . We want to go out on a positive note. It will be a difficult task but we will try our best to win the game.”

Barca’s form has been affected by injuries but while Lionel Messi, Victor Valdes and Dani Alves are still in the treatment room, the list of absentees is diminishing.

Xavi and Andres Iniesta have both been given the all-clear to face Celtic as has Cristian Tello but they will be without the suspended Cesc Fabregas. Neymar again leads the attack.