Scottish Premier League champions Celtic FC will be taking on Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin, Ireland this Saturday, July 30th. The match is a part of the 17-team International Champions Cup tournament and will be the second game of the event for Celtic and the first for Barcelona. The ICC is taking place at sites in China, the USA, Europe and Australia and features top teams from Spain, Scotland, England, Germany, France, Italy and Australia. Any game that ends in a draw will be decided by a penalty shootout.
Celtic FC vs Barcelona – 5Dimes Soccer Betting Line:
- 5Dimes currently lists Barcelona as the solid favorite to win – Money Line: Barcelona 1.24, Celtic FC 7.42
Celtic vs Barcelona – Head to Head:
The two clubs have met 12 times in the past with Barcelona winning seven, losing two and drawing the other three. Eight of the games were in the European Champions League with the other four being in the Europa League. They last met in the 2013/14 Champions League with Barcelona winning 6-1 at home and 1-0 away. Celtic’s last victory was 2-1 at home in the 2012/13 Champions League.
Celtic FC– A Closer Look:
Celtic’s first tournament match ended in a 1-1 draw with English Premier League champions Leicester City at Celtic Park in Glasgow last Saturday. Riyad Mahrez scored for Leicester with Eoghan O’Connell leveling matters later. However, Celtic lost the penalty shootout 6-5.
Celtic was founded back in 1887 and has won the Scottish League title a total of 47 times with the latest triumph being last season. The team has also won 36 Scottish Cups and 15 Scottish League Cups. In addition, they became the first British squad to win the European Cup when they achieved the feat in the 1966/67 campaign. They also won the league, Scottish Cup, Scottish League Cup and the Glasgow Cup that season.
Celtic also made it to the European Cup Final in 1969/70 and the 2002/2003 UEFA Cup Final. The team is currently managed by Brendan Rodgers and captained by Scott Brown. Celtic topped the Scottish Premier League last season with 86 points from 26 wins, eight draws and just four defeats. They scored a league-high 93 goals and allowed a league-low 31 against. They finished the season 15 points ahead of runners-up Aberdeen. Celtic was embarrassed in their first European Champions qualifying match earlier this month when they were beaten 1-0 in Gibraltar by the Lincoln Red Imps. They managed to win their home leg 3-0 though.
FC Barcelona – A Closer Look:
This will be Barcelona’s first preseason and tournament contest of the summer. Five-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi of Argentina is expected to be in the lineup along with striking partner Luis Suarez of Uruguay. However, Brazilian forward Neymar will be missing as he’s playing for his homeland in the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Manager Luis Enrique will be looking for a strong game from his squad as they prepare for the grueling season ahead. There will be some other top players missing though, such as Gerard Pique, Javier Mascherano, Ivan Rakitic, Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets.
Barcelona is arguably the best soccer club in the world at the moment and are the current La Liga champions. The team was founded in 1899 and has been extremely successful since then and is one of the most valuable sports franchises on the planet. The club has won 24 La Liga trophies over the years along with 28 Copa del Rey titles, 11 Supercopa de Espana crowns, three Copa Eva Duarte championships and a pair of Copa de la Liga trophies.
Internationally, the club has captured five European Champions League crowns, four UEFA Cup Winners’ Cups, five UEFA Super Cups, three Inter-Cities Fairs Cups and three FIFA Club World Cups. Barcelona is one of the founders of the Spanish Primera Division and has never been relegated from the top tier.
Celtic FC vs Barcelona – Takeaway:
Celtic is currently playing in the qualifying rounds of the European Champions League, so manager Brendan Rodgers won’t be tempted to risk his best players in this ICC contest.
By Ian Palmer