There won’t be many who give Partick Thistle much of a chance as they face up to Celtic at Firhill this evening, and their midfielder Adam Barton is honest enough to admit that the odds are stacked against a Jags victory.

In fact, he reckons that Celtic competing in the Scottish Premiership is the equivalent of Chelsea being placed in the English Championship, such is the gulf between the champions and the rest.

That’s not to say he doesn’t believe that Thistle can end their 50-game unbeaten domestic run tonight, but he knows that it will take an almighty effort and an almost perfect performance for the home side to triumph.

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Read more: John Kennedy tells Patrick Roberts that Celtic can offer him the best chance of progress

“It is difficult,” Barton said. “We had a meeting about it this morning. It’s almost like ‘where do you start?’ This is a team who has gone all last season unbeaten and very much capable of doing it again this time.

“You can do so much homework on Celtic but at the end of the day their class is – I’m not afraid to admit it – levels above everyone in the league.

“Sometimes you just have to take your hat off to people like that and say these guys are at the top.

“I would say it’s like Chelsea playing in the Championship in England. The Championship is such a good league, regarded as one of the best, even though it’s the second tier, and if they did that it is like Celtic in our league. Celtic are on a different level there’s no point in hiding that.

“The other teams in the Scottish Premiership are good. I’ve played down south in the Championship and I think this league is better than League One.

“It’s like Barcelona, where it’s attack versus defence in every game, that’s what it is like with Celtic.

“Sometimes you need a bit of luck, a counter attack to go well and then defend, that’s the way it is.

“That’s the league Celtic are in, but I’m not surprised, because with the budget that Celtic have compared to the rest what do you expect?

“You wouldn’t expect anything less than what is actually happening.”

Read more: John Kennedy tells Patrick Roberts that Celtic can offer him the best chance of progress

But for all of his pragmatism, Barton is also allowing himself to dream of going down in Firhill folklore as a member of the side that brought Celtic’s unbeaten juggernaut to a shuddering halt.

Thsitle’s most famous result came in the 1971 League Cup final against the same opponents of course, and Barton is looking to get his own photo up on the corridors of Firhill.

“That is definitely what goes through our mind, it’s almost like it’s our chance now,” he said.

“It’s crazy, but it’s true. It would go down in history if we could stop them going on a second run.

“Every week a different team has that new challenge.

“It’s strange how teams just sit off them automatically. I’m saying that now, but watch the game tomorrow and you’ll see in the first two minutes that we’ll all be sat back and they will be passing the ball.

“You might say ‘why don’t you stop that?’, but it’s not as simple as that. These guys are good players.

“It can be done of course, they’re not actually invincible. Playing against Celtic isn’t playing against Lionel Messi or Ronaldo, of course it can be done.

“We got a point at Celtic last year, why not again?”

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