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Barcelona's Xavi: We have to respect Celtic's defensive ways

Barcelona ace Xavi expects Celtic to again play in a defensive manner in the Champions League this week but says that game style cannot be disregarded.

The Hoops produced a dour performance at the Nou Camp a fortnight ago to be beaten 2-1 courtesy of a Jordi Alba injury-time winner and Xavi feels a similar showing at Parkhead on Wednesday night could be on the cards, especially after Chelsea won the Champions League last season playing that type of game.

"It's hard to blame Celtic for the way they approach games," Xavi said.

"When the Champions of Europe use that style it only encourages other teams to do the same thing.

"But it's very unlikely you'll play that way against Barcelona and get anything from the game.

"We make no secret that we don't encourage football to be played the way Celtic did in the first game, but we have to respect them.

"We have to respect the fact that, even though we didn't agree with the way they played, they were very difficult to beat."

But Xavi does feel that Neil Lennon's men could perhaps try to get on the attack more now they are at home in front of their fans.

"We know we're going to one of the most passionate football cities in the world and, at home, they might try and attack more than they did in the first game," he added.

"I'm sure we'll see a more attacking Celtic in Glasgow."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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