Neil Lennon has enthused at Scott Brown’s return for Celtic and assured that his players won’t have any ‘special treatment’ for Neymar tonight.
The Scots travel out to the Camp Nou for the closing round of action in the Champions League group stages and can welcome back their captain, who was sent off on matchday two at Celtic Park and suspended for three games for a kick out at Neymar.
“Scott knows he was in the wrong, he’s served his punishment and he’s very much looking forward to playing,” Lennon has reflected in the pre-match build-up.
“It hurt us because he’s our captain and he’s certainly a leader on and off the park. There’s no question that his presence was missed in our last three Champions League games.
“But that’s history now. This is a game with a great sense of occasion to it, no matter what the circumstances are. There’s great anticipation amongst the players, our supporters and myself.
“And it’s one we’re really looking forward to because there’s great respect between both clubs. Both have great traditions and a great affiliation with each other.
“We won’t treat Neymar any differently from the rest of the world-class players in the Barcelona team.
“Looking back on the game at Celtic Park, it was the first time I had seen Neymar play live and I was very impressed.
“He’ll be a wonderful addition to the Barcelona team, he’s very talented but I stand by what I said on the evening – that I did think he made more of the contact than was necessary.
“But Neymar looks like he’s going to be a special player. I was impressed by his ability, his pace and what he bought to the Barcelona attack.
“And if he stays in that vein, he’s going to be a fantastic player for club and country.”