Champions League

Enrique seeks swift Barca bounceback

2016-09-12 17:57
Luis Enrique (Getty Images)

Barcelona - Barcelona coach Luis Enrique expects the Spanish champions to suffer no after-effects from their shock La Liga defeat to Alaves when Celtic make their Champions League return at the Camp Nou on Tuesday.

Enrique was in the firing line after leaving Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench among seven changes as Barca's 100 percent start to the campaign was ended in stunning fashion by Alaves' first La Liga win in a decade with a 2-1 victory at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

"I would like to never lose," Enrique said on Monday.

"This team has had two years (of success) beyond any doubt, but that doesn't mean we can't lose.

"We will try to change that, but we are not interested in the past.

"The team has reacted well. They are obviously annoyed because we don't like and are not accustomed to losing at home.

"We have the shortest turnaround you can have between games. The players are rested and desperate to compete and play again in the Camp Nou in a competition that excites us."

Barca beat Celtic as recently as July 3-1 in a pre-season friendly in Dublin.

However, Enrique expects a very different clash with Champions League points at stake in a tough group also containing Pep Guardiola's Manchester City and Borussia Moenchengladbach.

"It helps to have played them in pre-season, but in terms of intensity and fighting for the three points there is a huge difference," added Enrique.

And he lauded the impact made by former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers in his short time in charge at Celtic in leading the Scottish champions back into the Champions League for the first time in three years.

Celtic also thrashed old rivals Rangers 5-1 on Saturday in the first league meeting between the Glasgow giants for four years.

"He loves good football, he is a coach that likes to play on the front foot, to take the game to the opposition and you can see that already in his short time at Celtic.

"They have made good signings and have players that will cause us problems. I Like Rodgers as a coach and his idea of how to play football."

Barca will be back close to full strength with the star trio of Messi, Suarez and Neymar set to start together for the first time since the Copa del Rey final in May.

Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto and Andres Iniesta are also set to return from the side that started against Alaves.

Enrique's only injury doubt comes in goal. Dutch stopper Jasper Cillessen made his debut on Saturday, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen trained fully on Monday and could make an earlier than expected return from a hamstring injury.

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Fixtures
Tuesday, 31 October 2017
Celtic v Bayern Munchen, Celtic Park 21:45
Sporting CP v Juventus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Qarabag, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
Manchester United v Benfica, Old Trafford 21:45
PSG v Anderlecht, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v CSKA Moskva, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Barcelona, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Chelsea, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
Wednesday, 01 November 2017
Besiktas v Monaco, Vodafone Stadyumu 19:00
Liverpool v Maribor, Anfield 21:45
Porto v RB Leipzig, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Sevilla v Spartak Moskva, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Feyenoord, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v APOEL, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Napoli v Manchester City, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v Real Madrid, Wembley Stadium 21:45
Tuesday, 21 November 2017
Spartak Moskva v Maribor, Otkrytiye Arena 19:00
Besiktas v Porto, Vodafone Stadyumu 19:00
Sevilla v Liverpool, Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan 21:45
Manchester City v Feyenoord, Etihad Stadium 21:45
APOEL v Real Madrid, Neo GSP 21:45
Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur, Signal-Iduna-Park 21:45
Monaco v RB Leipzig, Stade Louis II. 21:45
Napoli v Shakhtar Donetsk, Stadio San Paolo 21:45
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
Qarabag v Chelsea, Bakı Olimpiya Stadionu 19:00
CSKA Moskva v Benfica, VEB Arena 19:00
Juventus v Barcelona, Allianz Stadium 21:45
Sporting CP v Olympiakos Piraeus, Estadio Jose Alvalade 21:45
Atletico Madrid v Roma, Estadio Wanda Metropolitano 21:45
PSG v Celtic, Parc des Princes 21:45
Basel v Manchester United, St. Jakob-Park 21:45
Anderlecht v Bayern Munchen, Stade Constant Vanden Stock 21:45
Tuesday, 05 December 2017
Bayern Munchen v PSG, Allianz-Arena 21:45
Barcelona v Sporting CP, Camp Nou 21:45
Celtic v Anderlecht, Celtic Park 21:45
Benfica v Basel, Estadio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica (da Luz) 21:45
Manchester United v CSKA Moskva, Old Trafford 21:45
Olympiakos Piraeus v Juventus, Stadio Georgios Karaiskaki 21:45
Roma v Qarabag, Stadio Olimpico 21:45
Chelsea v Atletico Madrid, Stamford Bridge 21:45
Wednesday, 06 December 2017
Liverpool v Spartak Moskva, Anfield 21:45
Porto v Monaco, Estadio Do Dragao 21:45
Real Madrid v Borussia Dortmund, Estadio Santiago Bernabeu 21:45
Maribor v Sevilla, Ljudski vrt 21:45
Shakhtar Donetsk v Manchester City, Oblasny SportKomplex Metalist 21:45
RB Leipzig v Besiktas, Red Bull Arena 21:45
Feyenoord v Napoli, Stadion Feijenoord 21:45
Tottenham Hotspur v APOEL, Wembley Stadium 21:45
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