Vilanova: Celtic clash is most important match left in 2012

The Camp Nou club have secured nine points in three matches and a win on Wednesday night would see them qualify for the knockout stages with two games left to play
Tito Vilanova believes Barcelona's Champions League clash against Celtic is the most important match remaining in 2012.

The Catalunya club have claimed nine points from their first three matches and a win at Parkhead would see them qualify for the knockout stages with two games remaining.

Pep Guardiola's successor has admitted that the Scottish club will put up an almighty fight on Wednesday night, with the Spanish side needing a late goal to ensure victory in the 2-1 Camp Nou victory in October.

Vilanova told reporters on Tuesday evening: "The match against Celtic is possibly the most important match we have left in 2012. If we win we'll be in the next round.

"We know how dangerous Celtic are. We need to be wary of their set-pieces and their counter-attacks.

"The players are aware of how difficult tomorrow's match will be."

The Blaugrana coach also confirmed that Gerard Pique could return to defence in the continental clash, but that he will make a decision after Tuesday's training session.

"The sooner we can get players like Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol back, the better," Vilanova added.

"Dani Alves is a very important player. I'm convinced that he'll make a real effort to return to his best form."