Vilanova / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

FC Barcelona’s run in the Champions League has been impeccable so far this season. With three victories from as many matches, the Blaugrana are very close to clinching a spot in the Round of 16. In fact, a victory at Celtic Park would mathematically seal a knock-out round berth as group leaders if Spartak doesn’t defeat Benfica in the other Group G match. “This is possibly the most important game that we have left in 2012,” said Tito Vilanova in today’s pre-match press conference. “We can finish first, and if we do it will allow us to rest first-teamers and give time to Barça B players,” he added.

Celtic FC, dangerous on set pieces and on the counter

The Blaugrana manager warned of the dangers Celtic bring to tomorrow’s match. “We know how dangerous Celtic are. I said it before the match against them at the Camp Nou and it was true. They are very dangerous on set pieces and they are very quick on the counter. We saw it at the Camp Nou,” declared the manager. In addition Vilanova noted that the atmosphere at Celtic Park could play a role in tomorrow’s match: “I’ve never visited Celtic Park, but I’ve been told about the atmosphere. It’s always good for the players to experience the kind of atmosphere that we’ll have tomorrow.”

Piqué’s return to competitive play

Vilanova didn’t say if Piqué will feature in Barça’s starting line-up against Celtic. “We have to see how he feels. He’s hasn’t played in a long time and we have to thoroughly evaluate his condition. We don’t want to run any risks. We don’t want to force him to play before he’s ready.” He added: “It’s important to recover injured players, and if they’re centre backs, fantastic. Lately we’ve had to play players out of position and they’ve done a good job, but if we recover players like Piqué and Puyol, even better.”