Wanyama’s Celtic in Barcelona’s line of fire

Wanyama’s Celtic in Barcelona’s line of fire

Wanyama’s Celtic in Barcelona’s line of fire

You must be excited. All Kenyan football fans must be. Victor Wanyama will be taking on the mighty men from Catalunya at Camp Nou, when Scottish club, Celtic, makes Barcelona their next port of call. He will be tasked with nullifying the threat of the playmaker that is Andres Iniesta and the heartbeat that is Xavi Hernandez. That will be exhilarating to watch.

But it’s a tricky affair for the Bhoys. Not only have Neil Lennon’s men won only once in 27 road trips in Europe, but in the Blaugrana, they face a team that has been rampant this season. Tito Vilanova’s side have lost only once and drawn once in 12 matches across all competitions this season, and they were both against Real Madrid. The rest of the games have involved making mockery of other teams’ defenses.

For the Hoops to get the anything out of the 99,000-seater cathedral, they have to believe, and they shouldn’t have too much respect for one of the greatest teams in the history of football. Tall order for the visitors, for in Lionel Messi, they face a phenomenon who is only third in the Champions League goal scoring history. That’s right, behind legends Raul and Ruud van Nistelrooy. And with the Cesc Fabregas, Iniesta, Xavi, Alexis and Sergio Busquets, it may be one long night for the Scottish defending champions.

Elsewhere, there’ll be more continental action for the big kahunas in Europe once again. From Old Trafford to Grand Stade Lille Metropole, from Luzhiniki to the Donbass and the Turk Telekom arenas, the great and the nondescript will be locking horns when Match Day 3 gets underway.

The Theatre of Dreams will be welcoming Portuguese side Sporting Clube de Braga, as Man United look to continue their 100% record in this season’s Big Ears trophy campaign. A win will ensure the Red Devils have one hand on the second round, but they’ll be reminded that last season, the Mancunians couldn’t get the better of another Portuguese side, Benfica, enroute the Europa League.

Nevertheless, after storming past Stoke comprehensively at the weekend, they should be able to pick up maximum points here, though with the defense still threadbare, what with the number of injuries affecting the rearguard, the Archbishops may fancy this one too.

It’s Chelsea who are heading into tonight’s matches looking quite impressive, though they travel to Ukraine to face Shahktar Donetsk, a team currently level with the Blues on four points in Group E. The Stamford Bridge outfit should be good for the hosts, if they don’t lose leads like they did against Juventus in matchday 2. And with the incredible playmaking trio of Eden Hazard, Oscar and Juan Mata playing behind Fernando ‘El Nino’ Torres, bring on Barcelona!

Not so for Bayern Munich. They travelled to BATE Borisov and got battered by their less illustrious opponents’ last time out. Let’s hope they’ve learnt their lesson when they journey to France to take on Lille. With Valencia being Borisov’s opponents, Jupp Heynckes and his Bavarian squad will be hoping BATE serve the Los Che an equal piece of the same pie.

On the weekend, the Munich giants registered their record ninth consecutive Bundesliga match victory. However, Europe has presented a different challenge altogether, what with FC Hollywood losing four matches in their last five travels. The 2011/12 finalists should better hope that Lille don’t become a banana peel.

Tuesday October 23rd

9:45pm                 Man United – SC Braga, Old Trafford, SS3

9:45pm                 Shakhtar Donetsk – Chelsea, Donbass Arena, SS5

9:45pm                 Lille – Bayern Munich, Grand Stade Lille Metropole, SS6

9:45pm                 FC Barcelona  - Celtic, Estadio Camp Nou, SS7

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