Vilanova: Biggest game of the year

Tito Vilanova believes tomorrow's Champions League encounter with Celtic could be the biggest game Barcelona are yet to face in 2012.

Barca have a 100 per cent record thus far in Group G and will seal their qualification to the next phase if they are victorious at Celtic Park. The Hoops are the closest challengers to Vilanova's side at present but lag five points behind.

“The match against Celtic is possibly the most important we have left in 2012,” the former assistant boss told reporters in Glasgow. “If we win we'll be in the next round.”

The Blaugrana won the reverse fixture 2-1 two weeks ago but were made to work hard for it, conceding an early goal from a free kick.

“We know how dangerous Celtic are,” Vilanova continued. “We need to be wary of their set pieces and counter attacks. The players are aware how difficult tomorrow's match will be.”

The tactician then discussed the potential return of centre-back Gerard Pique.

“Pique has been out for a long time. He could play, but there's a risk he'd get injured again. I will decide tomorrow. The sooner Pique and [Carles] Puyol are back, the better. Centre-back is a crucial position.”

Vilanova closed with some kind words for his hosts, who are celebrating the 125th anniversary of their foundation.

“We congratulate Celtic for their 125th birthday today. We're happy to play against them at such a special moment.”

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