Ewan is off for a pre-match nap

Thanks for reading and commenting.

We have plenty of other Champions League stories on the football site today. Here isJonathan Wilsonon Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester United, Amy Lawrence on Arsenal v Napoli and, er, a story about a new burger made in honour of Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Guardian staff

Right, time for my pre-match nap. Hope everyone enjoys the game and thanks for the questions. Some of them were even pretty funny. I fancy Barca to win by a couple of goals tonight but Celtic are far from without hope in the section... I think they can bet both Milan and Ajax at home, which would be a decent starting point.

Updated

ID2152848 asks:

Thanks for the work in defending Scottish football against the dark forces of AC Jimbo and his crew...

1) Looking past the game tonight, do you think Lennon has progressed this team in terms of breaking the away-game hoodoo? The away games in Elfsborg and Karagandy were both influenced by the pitch... and Celtic were the better team for much of the Milan game. He seems to have done more than any of his predecessors in terms of breaking the cycle.

2) Speaking of the Milan game - any idea why Celtic have struggled so much against Italians in recent years? They just pick us off, even when we match them in open play.

Guardian staff

1) Yes.. although I always regarded it as unfair to bring the "hoodoo" up with a team who weren't responsible for it (ie much of it stretched back even to O'Neill's time). Samaras is responsible for a lot of that; he works as a perfect out-ball away from home in Europe. Hence Celtic started scoring again. Those goals brought belief in this new team and they have duly (with the odd exception) played very well away from home.
Neil Lennon said yesterday: " It's important we try to get something away from home. Going to the Nou Camp is very difficult, but if we are going to get something away from home we have to look at Amsterdam and get something out of that.
"We can't keep relying on our home form, although if we get three wins out of three here I will take that now. Sooner or later we will get beat at home. The longer we are in this competition, eventually something will give at home."

2)... Juventus a vastly superior team to Milan, in my view. They were ruthless last season. At the San Siro, Celtic simply suffered on account of not taking chances/having belief in front of goal.

billy2times asks:

Do you think it's crucial Celtic score first?

Guardian staff

Yes... reckon it will be almost impossible for them to win from behind.

delboygeezer asks:

Celtic's performance in the San Siro was encouraging because they played a more possession-based game but still eventually lost. Do you think Lennon has given away some of that defensive steel that helped them reach the knockout stages last year, for a more attractive way to play in Europe?

Guardian staff

Don't think you could accuse them of being defensive in Moscow... Barcelona have to be treated as a separate entity because of the amount of possession they have against any team but, again, I don't think Celtic were "defensive" in either game.
Celtic have attacking players who can make an impact at this level. What is crucial, and was missing in Milan, is that they take chances when they arrive.

ID714286 asks:

Was Barça's purchase of Neymar motivated more by commercial than footballing considerations? It strikes me that the last area they needed to strengthen was middle to front and that their persistent defensive vulnerability gives Celtic a chance and, more than anything, will ensure that they don't win the Champions League.

Guardian staff

Is it not the case that this perceived defensive weakness only arises because their front six players are so good? Neymar fits perfectly with their model of attacking, eye-catching football...

Arraiga2 asks:

What will Neymar think when faced with the cold dead eyes of Scott Brown? In seriousness though, how important do you feel players like Brown, who while lacking in technique and skills are willing to lead by example and get "stuck in", are in these sort of games?

Guardian staff

I touched on this before... I think Brown's technical ability is under appreciated. I was never his greatest fan but you can see the difference in the Celtic team when he is in it. He was fantastic against Milan and is having a fine season... boosted by the fact he is finally injury-free.

RonanS asks:

Having lost to Milan away, is it fair to say Celtic need three home wins to have a decent chance of qualifying for the next round? I realise expecting them to beat Barcelona is excessive, but is it not more plausible than getting three points at Ajax, especially given last season's result?

Guardian staff

I think they'll need to beat Milan and Ajax at home and take something in Amsterdam, minimum. A draw in the other game tonight would help Celtic, of course... if they did win all three home matches and didn't qualify on nine points, that would be very cruel.

JacquesCustard asks:

Given the dearth of successful British managers, due in some part to a lack of opportunities, how do you think Neil Lennon would fair with a good side south of the border, one with potential for Europe?

Guardian staff

He would do well in England... has a proven ability to improve players (Samaras, Brown), spot great value players (Hooper, Wanyama) and set out a side to perform on the big stage (Champions League last season).

The issue, like so many before, he would have is that Celtic is a massive club in a small set-up... is that worth swapping for a smaller club in a bigger set up?

LindsayJustNeedsAHug asks:

Is Scott Brown the most useless midfield "enforcer" ever? In that he can't tackle or intimidate opponents – not that he can pass, score or dribble either. If Celtic ditched him and played Ledley, Mulgrew and Biton in centre they may actually get some decent possession going!

Guardian staff

Pretty harsh... not only has he never been deployed as an "enforcer" but he is having a terrific season. Played exceptionally well in the San Siro.

smiff21 asks:

Do you think Lennon could use effectively four full-backs by starting Izaguirre, Mulgrew, Lustig and Matthews to "double up" the threat from Alves/Adriano (Alba still injured?) and to maybe catch Barça out on the break with pace down the flanks and whipping crosses in for Samaras (who I imagine will play as a lone striker)?

Guardian staff

Yes... although the key debating point for me is whether Mulgrew again partners Brown in centre midfield or moves back to the left flank. Were Ledley fit, Mulgrew would be wide. I reckon it's pretty certain Lustig and Matthews will form the right side.

getdfunkout asks:

What is Barcelona's starting lineup likely to be? Will Neymar be an adequate replacement for Messi?

Guardian staff

Spanish press yesterday reckoned Valdes; Alves, Pique, Bartha, Adriano; Xavi, Busquets, Iniesta; Neymar, Fabregas, Pedro...
Neymar a different player in a slightly different role but of course has sufficient talent to trouble Celtic, yes...

bobbywomb asks:

Neil Lennon's tactical acumen OR Celtic's rabid support: what is the most important factor in the home team's fine record at Parkhead?

Guardian staff

I have always thought the notion of visiting players being overawed by Celtic Park is overstated at Champions League level.. these guys have played all over the world. What is unquestionably the case is that Celtic's own players get a lift from the atmosphere.

I also think tactics can be overplayed.. Neil Lennon knows how to set out a team. But he has some good players, just as Celtic's results in the past were achieved by good teams with good players.

housingsuperman asks:

What's the score going to be?

Guardian staff

Barca to win by two goals.... but I'm on a hopeless run of predictions right now so Celtic by three maybe the sensible bet...

JacquesCustard asks:
If you could ask yourself one question for a live webchat about Celtic's match against Barcelona tonight in the Champions League, what would it be and what would be your answer?

Guardian staff

Good question.... I'd probably ask about the Celtic team (is that too dull?!).. In which I reckon the following are certainties to start: Forster, Lustig, Ambrose, Van Dijk, Matthews, Brown, Mulgrew, Commons, Samaras.. Remaining spots up for debate.

kiwiloving asks:

Do you see Barcelona progressing to the final this year? Do you think Tata Martino has resolved their squad/tactical issues to make them competitive against Bayern Munich?

Guardian staff

Of course they can, and not sure Bayern's fans are convinced yet by their new manager? 7 wins in 7 in La Liga shows how strong Barcelona are.. claims that playing style has markedly changed also seem over the top, to me.

newenergyspace asks:

What does this game say about the state of Scottish football? A few years ago talk of Celtic losing at home to Barcelona would have been ludicrous.

Guardian staff

Nothing... Celtic currently on a different financial stratosphere from the rest of their own division, never mind what is further down.

DoctorSatan asks:

Is there any way Celtic can avoid defeat without parking the bus and hoofing the ball to Samaras? Do you think an aggressive approach can catch Barcelona off-guard?

Guardian staff

Yes.. basically because they have guys who can play. Commons and Forrest (if fit) jump out in that regard. Samaras will have someone in support and whether that is Commons, Forrest, Stokes or Pukki... none of them are suited to long ball stuff. Where Celtic can be strong is set plays, given the quality of Mulgrew's delivery.
I didn't think they parked the bus at all in the Camp Nou last season and came very lose to a point and the same applied in Glasgow. Barca will have the majority of the ball, of course, but Celtic aren't routinely defensive against better teams.

TopTopPlayer asks:

Will Rod Stewart cry again?

Guardian staff

He was in concert in Glasgow last night, actually. So he should at least be on the premises....

Ewan is in the comments section below

Guardian staff

Afternoon folks... should be here for an hour or so. Or as long as you keep the questions entertaining and I have the capability of answering them... will rattle through the first few now...

Ewan Murray will be online from 1pm

Good afternoon. Ewan will be here soon to take questions about tonight's match at Celtic Park. In the meantime, here is his take on the task facing Celtic against the La Liga leaders:

Celtic must show ruthless streak in front of goal against Barcelona

Neil Lennon's team must find their scoring touch at Celtic Park on Tuesday if they are to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage for the second season in a row

The notion of playing a plucky loser has never sat kindly with Neil Lennon. Even with Celtic part of an illustrious Champions League group, one filled with former winners of various forms of the European Cup for the first time, Lennon has challenged his players to progress to the knockout stage for what would be a second season in succession.

Amid the plaudits dished out to Lennon and his players for their performance in defeat to Milan at the San Siro, a counterpoint will not have escaped the attention of the Celtic manager. That is: long periods of positive play, especially at the top level, counts for nothing without the ruthless streak to go with it. Lennon is clearly an astute enough coach and experienced enough in football to recognise that.

For all that Celtic troubled a Milan side that will not rank among the great ones to don red and black, a lack of conviction in front of goal undermined their efforts. Celtic suffered due to exactly the same shortcoming that hindered them when they faced different Italian opponents, Juventus, in the knockout phase of last season's Champions League. Continue reading

If you have any questions for Ewan, drop them into the comments section below.