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Kayal: We're ready to face Messi

BERAM Kayal insists that Celtic won't turn up at the Nou Camp tomorrow night as starry-eyed tourists.

Neil Lennon's side face the toughest test in football when they take to the pitch against the most celebrated side the game has ever produced.

After seeing his side beat St Mirren 5-0 on Saturday, Lennon flew out to Spain to watch Barca win 5-4 away to Deportivo la Coruna where Lionel Messi notched a hat-trick to take his tally for club and country in 2012 to an incredible 59.

Celtic's win away to Spartak Moscow last month has finally given them credibility away from home in the Champions League with Kayal aiming to build on that tomorrow night.

"We can do something in the Nou Camp," he insisted. "Barcelona are the best team in the world, but we are full of confidence and we go there with belief.

"They have the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Messi but it's a chance for Celtic to prove we are also at that level.

"We could use 11 men to mark Messi but, seriously, we are not playing just Messi, we are playing against the best team in Europe and the world.

"They are going to have control and it will be hard, but our manager will prepare us and we will all do our job.

"We want to keep our good position in the Champions League group. After the draw at home to Benfica and win in Moscow, it will be good for us if we can continue by doing something in Barcelona.

"We believe we can qualify from the group, of course we do. We have a lot of confidence now and the result in Moscow proved we can do something in the Champions League.

"It was a good performance and result for us (against St Mirren). We controlled the game. It's not easy to win 5-0, but we made the game easy for ourselves. All of the players did their jobs very well."

Twelve months ago Lennon's job was under threat after Celtic scrambled a 3-3 draw at Kilmarnock with Rangers disappearing over the horizon.

Since then Celtic have claimed the SPL title, drawn away to Udinese and beaten HJK Helsinki, Helsingborgs and Spartak Moscow in European competition.

Spartak were leading 2-1 in the Nou Camp before tumbling to a 3-2 defeat with Lennon well aware of the task that his players face tomorrow night.

"I want us to try and create chances and we've managed to do that in just about all of the games away from home in Europe in the past year," the Celtic boss stated. "We know all about them, whether we can combat their strengths is the next thing.

"All we can do is concentrate on our own players and match them up as best we can. Everyone knows how good they are with the ball and they have world-class players in every position, but it's different to see them in the flesh.

"It was good to see where they go off the ball because you don't get to see that on the TV. That will help me a lot with the way we set up."


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