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Tuesday 10th July 2018
Republican Stadium, Yerevan, Armenia
UEFA Champions League 1st Round Qualifier
1st Leg


0-3

Edouard (45'+1), Forrest (81'), McGregor (90')
Yesterday evening, Brendan Rodgers' Celtic returned to competitive action for the 2018/19 campaign against Armenian champions Alashkert FC, in the first round of qualifying for the Champions League Group Stages. With every season that passes, it seems as though the summer football break is getting shorter and shorter for the Celtic players. This is of course great for us fans, but surely places extra pressure upon the players to keep themselves fit throughout this long and challenging season that lays ahead.

In the blistering heat of Yerevan however, the Celtic players proved that they are once again raring to go, with a comfortable - in the end - 3-0 win over their opponents. Goals from Odsonne Edouard, James Forrest and a late 'cherry on the icing' from the ever reliable Callum McGregor, gave the Hoops a commanding lead to take back on their luxury jet to Glasgow ahead of the 2nd leg next Wednesday night.

To many, particularly those old school supporters amongst you, it seems ridiculous that a club the size of Celtic are being asked to begin their European journey at such an early stage. Admittedly, it comes with its difficulties and yes, does seem unfair, however in the same instance, it gives Brendan Rodgers and his staff an early chance to see how the players can fair under pressure in a game which, despite the low level of opponent, is massive in the context of our season. The past 2 seasons under the Northern Irishman's stewardship have brought unparallelled success domestically while also giving supporter's...
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND DRAW

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The draw for first qualifying rounds of the 2018/19 Champions League took place today at UEFA headquarters in Nyon. Celtic were drawn against Alashkert of Armenia, and are due to play the away leg in Yerevan on 10/11 July, with the home tie in Glasgow due for 17/18 July.

Celtic fans may remember the name of Alashkert, as they famously dumped out St Johnstone of Europa League qualification in 2015/16, their first time reaching the first round qualification stage. However, Alashkert have never got past the second qualifying phase, and Celtic will look to impose their experience of the last 2 successful campaigns to overcome the Armenian champions.

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The Alashkert stadium in Yerevan will host Celtic's first leg tie. It has a max capacity of 6,850.

The remaining fixtures for the stage are;

Torpedo Kutaisi (GEO) v Sheriff (MDA)
Shkëndija (MKD) v The New Saints (WAL)
Sūduva (LTU) v APOEL (CYP)
Olimpija Ljubljana (SVN) v Qarabağ (AZE)
F91 Dudelange (LUX) v Videoton (HUN)

Winners of the preliminary round v Malmö (SWE)
HJK Helsinki (FIN) v Víkingur (FRO)
Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL) v Crusaders (NIR)
Cork City (IRL) v Legia Warszawa (POL)
Valur Reykjavík (ISL) v Rosenborg (NOR)

Kukës (ALB) v Valletta (MLT)
Flora Tallinn (EST) v Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR)
Spartaks Jūrmala (LVA) v Crvena zvezda (SRB)
Alashkert (ARM) v Celtic (SCO)
Spartak Trnava (SVK) v Zrinjski (BIH)
Astana (KAZ) v Sutjeska (MNE)



With the second qualifying-round ties on 24-25 July and 31 July-1 August, should the hoops go through, Brendan Rodgers' side won't have long to wait until their next hurdle on the way...
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Celtic have today confirmed the permanent signing of Odsonne Edouard on a 4-year deal. The 20-year old Frenchman joins from PSG, after a successful loan spell in the 2017/18 season. The fee has not been disclosed, however the club have confirmed that it is a record breaking deal.

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Edouard joined Celtic on loan in the summer of 2017, joining up with his compatriots Moussa Dembele and Olivier Ntcham. Although he had played little football at senior level, his record for the France U17, U18 and U19 teams suggested he was a player with huge potential. In fact, he was the star player for France at the 2015 European Under-17 Championships – winning both the Golden Player and Golden Boot awards as he fired them to their second title.

Despite scoring and assisting on his debut, in a 4-1 win against Hamilton, he took some time to get into his stride in a Celtic jersey. He would have to wait 3 months before finding himself on the score sheet again and display his true potential. In a 5-1 rout against Motherwell at Celtic Park, Edouard not only scored his first senior hat-trick, but he gave the Celtic fans a sign of what was to come. He bullied the opposition defence, popped up in the right places at the right time and proved that in addition to his size and physicality, he has fantastic ability with the ball at his feet.

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Edouard with the match ball after a fantastic display against...
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Celtic vs. Motherwell

Scottish Cup Final

Saturday 19th May

Kick-off: 3pm

BBC One Scotland & Sky Sports Football



This Saturday, Celtic once again find themselves presented with the opportunity to make history. This time last year we witnessed the Invincible Treble, whilst this time around it’s the potential of a feat no other team has achieved in the history of the Scottish game – a back to back treble.

Saturday’s final will certainly have something of a déjà vu like feel to it, as, much like November’s League Cup final, Celtic once again find themselves facing Motherwell.

It was a relatively comfortable 2-0 victory for the Bhoys on that day, but football’s an unpredictable game and cup finals have been known to bring about some shocks over the years. While Celtic will be sure they have what it takes to clinch the treble, Motherwell will undoubtedly be eager to get some payback for the League Cup and walk away with some silverware in the process.

Celtic

Brendan Rodgers will be keen to continue his domestic trophy winning streak as Celtic manager and an important part of ensuring that happens is getting his team selection for Saturday right.

In his pre-match interview last Sunday, the manager stated that he already knew his starting eleven for Saturday’s final. So could the team we saw against Aberdeen be the same one that lines up this weekend, or could we potentially be in for a few surprises?

Perhaps the first question regarding the potential line-up for the final, is just who will start in goal - Craig Gordon or Scott Bain? Whilst Bain has certainly performed well when called upon, earning himself a four year contract in the process, it’s still up in the air whether or not the manager truly fancies him as Celtic’s new no.1. In...
Hoops still in seventh heaven despite trophy day defeat

Celtic - 0
Aberdeen - 1 (Considine, 47)


Celtic Park, Glasgow
13th May
SPFL


Celtic rounded off the 2017/18 league season with a fairly feeble performance against Aberdeen, who managed to secure second position in the league on the final day of the campaign. In a season in which Celtic can win a second consecutive domestic trouble next Sunday, it was evident that Brendan Rodgers’ players mind’s laid elsewhere, Aberdeen managed to pip Rangers to becoming second best team in the country, after the Ibrox side threw away a 3-5 lead to Hibernian to draw 5-5.

In a game in which the Hoops had the lions share of possession and the more shots between the two, it was Andy Considine’s 47th minute strike that was the difference – a left footed driven shot into the bottom left corner, after some good work by Kenny McLean was enough to beat Scott Bain and give the Dons the victory.

While it could be argued that Celtic have dropped an alarming amount of points at home in the league this season, few could argue that a seventh successive SPFL title and a possible second treble in a row could be deemed unsuccessful. The reality is, despite some hiccups on the way – Celtic have been the dominant side in the country this season and when it has really matter, they have duly performed. This was significantly evident in the recent drubbings of Glasgow rivals Rangers, in which the bhoys thumped them 4-0 at Hampden to secure place in the Scottish cup final on Sunday – along with the 5-0 hammering of the Ibrox side at Parkhead to secure the league title two weeks ago.

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Scott Brown lifts a 7th consecutive title trophy

Next week, Brendan Rodgers and his side will be looking to overcome a Motherwell side...​