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Athens Await

Rosenborg - 0


Celtic - 0


Lerkendal Stadion, Trondheim
1st August
UEFA Champions League qualifier


Celtic will face AEK Athens in their 3rd qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League after the dispatching of Rosenborg in Trondheim on Wednesday night. The Hoops took an aggregate lead of 3-1 to Norway thanks to a double from Edouard and a sublime finish by Ntcham at Parkhead, after Rosenborg had taken an early lead through Meling.

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Edouard celebrates scoring in the first leg

It was Meling who appeared to be causing the Hoops some discomfort once again, particularly in the first half as James Forrest and Cristian Gamboa were faced with the stern task of nullifying his threat. The Norwegian defender seemed to have the upper hand on the flank in the opening exchanges, but as Forrest and Gamboa grew into the game he became less of a danger.

Under Rodgers, Celtic have proven to be a side capable of getting the job done with regards to European qualifiers, and the Rosenborg tie was his eighth consecutive victory as manager in qualifying. Much like in previous seasons when Celtic had taken a comfortable lead into the second leg away from home, there was a certain trepidation in the way they performed but also a sense that qualification loomed once more.

Despite an anxious start, Rosenborg were limited to half chances for the most part and will have been disappointed at their lack of a cutting edge in the final third - particularly on a night where the Glasgow side weren’t quite at their best. There was a noticeable improvement in the performance levels in the second half, as the...
[​IMG]3 (Edouard x 2, Ntcham)
[​IMG] 1 (Meling)


Wednesday 25th July 2018
Celtic Park
UEFA Champions League - Second Qualifying Round (1st Leg)


Having comfortably swatted FC Alashkert aside in the first qualifying round of the 2018/19 Champions League, the next hurdle for Celtic was Rosenborg BK. Wednesday night’s action saw the Bhoys hosting the Norwegian champions in the first leg of the second qualifying round.

It was to be a treble-treble, as for the third competitive match in a row, Celtic managed to put 3 goals on the board in an impressive 3-1 victory. Despite falling behind early, Brendan Rodgers and his players rose to the occasion and blew their opponents away in a magnificent second half display that perhaps deserved an even bigger winning margin.

[​IMG]
Rodgers acknowledging the support after a fine result.

With Moussa Dembele and Jozo Simunovic unavailable for selection, Brendan Rodgers had to adjust the shape and reshuffle the pack for the game. In came Scott Sinclair and Cristian Gamboa, who hadn’t appeared for Celtic since February. The visitors, meanwhile, had their own problems in the lead up to the match, having sacked their manager and losing two key players to injury.

After a fairly slow start to the match, Rosenborg drew first blood in the 16th minute. Jack Hendry drove forward with the ball before losing possession in the opposition half. The Norwegians took advantage, breaking forward and punishing some slack play from the Hoops. Nicklas Bendtner set up left...
[​IMG]VS [​IMG]

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...
[​IMG]
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...