Xavi, Neymar lead returnees

Tata Martino will likely return Xavi Hernandez to the Barcelona starting line-up against Celtic, as one of five projected changes.

The Catalans host their Scottish opponents in the closing fixture of Group H in the Champions League already assured passage to the Last 16, but in need of a point to make certain of top spot and a seeding in the next round’s draw.

On from Friday’s Copa del Rey win at Cartagena, Martino is subsequently seen as readying five changes in the line-up, with Xavi, after a minor injury, back in midfield ahead of Sergi Roberto.

Neymar is set to return from a substitute’s role in the Cup to take the central attacking position in Cesc Fabregas’ absence and will be flanked by Alexis Sanchez and Pedro Rodriguez.

Defence will apparently see three changes, with Adriano keeping his place from the weekend, but moving over to left-back, allowing for Martin Montoya at right-back, with Gerard Pique and Javier Mascherano replacing Carles Puyol and Marc Bartra in the centre.

Celtic, meanwhile, are expected to give captain Scott Brown a run-out against Barca, as he returns from suspension after matchday two’s sending off against Barca for a kick out at Neymar, which earned him a three-game ban.

Probable line-ups

Barcelona: Pinto; Montoya, Pique, Mascherano, Adriano; Xavi, Buquets, Song; Alexis, Neymar, Pedro

Celtic: Forster; Lustig, Van Dijk, Ambrose, Izaguirre; Brown, Mulgrew, Ledley, Commons; Samaras, Stokes

Tags Celtic Neymar Xavi