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Hamilton Academical vs. Celtic

Friday 8th September

New Douglas Park

Kick Off: 19:45

BT Sport 1

The wait is over and normal service will once again be resumed as Celtic travel to New Douglas Park to take on Hamilton Academical.

When the sides last met back in April, the Hoops emerged victorious, courtesy of a double provided by Moussa Dembele. However, it’s a new season and with an international break behind them and a Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Gemain ahead of them, who knows how Celtic will perform come kickoff on Friday night.

Celtic

Arguably the biggest challenge facing Brendan Rodgers and his squad heading in to this match is that of fatigue. Many of his first team regulars featured for their respective countries over the international break, including the Scottish contingent who featured heavily in both of their matches, which is something he’ll surely be aware of when selecting his starting XI. As such, there may be an opportunity for some of the players who find themselves slightly further down the pecking order to step up and impress come Friday.

One potential absence come Friday is Celtic’s star striker, Leigh Griffiths. Griffiths, who started in both of Scotland’s international fixtures, scored against Malta but was subbed off due to a tightness in his calf and is a doubt for Friday’s game. However, even if he was to recover in time for the Accies match, with the PSG game loomingone wonders if Brendan Rodgers would be tempted to rest Griffiths just to be safe. If Griffiths is rested on Friday, that raises the question of who fills in for him?

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What are the odds on Edouard starting on...
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Celtic re-sign Patrick Roberts on Season Long Loan!
The moment every Celtic fan across the globe has been waiting for all summer has finally arrived. Fan Favourite Patrick Roberts has this evening agreed to rejoin the Hoops for another season, putting to bed a transfer saga unlikely to be beaten again anytime soon.

The signing of the diminutive English winger will be viewed as a coup, despite the deal only being a temporary one once again. After his scintillating form last season, the player had plenty of suitors across Europe, but clearly sees Parkhead as the right place for his development to continue. Brendan Rodgers has been coy all summer in regards to his pursuit of Roberts, but will no doubt be ecstatic, as he has finally secured his top transfer target.

Celtic's squad at the moment is a strong one, however in Roberts, Rodgers now has something different. The winger has that special 'something' that is often hard to pinpoint. From the way he dribbles with the ball to the way he effortlessly cuts inside and curls it into the top corner time and time again, he is a special talent, one which is perfectly suited to a club like Celtic. So much so, that he has been given the legendary shirt number, 7. Ok, so a few duds have adorned it in recent years, but so many Celtic fans still harbour memories of the likes of Johnstone, Dalglish and Larsson having it on their backs. Roberts is exactly the kind of attacking, flare player that made the number such a part of Celtic folklore in the first place.

With a tough Champions League campaign on the horizon, the Hoops will need every bit of quality possible to get the better of their group opponents. The draw of the competition itself...
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Champions League

2017/18
Group Stage Draw

Celtic are well and truly back in amongst the big boys of European football as they find themselves in Group B alongside German champions Bayern Munich, Qatar rich PSG, and Belgian champions Anderlecht
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Let's take a look at the opposition...


Group B

Bayern Munich
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Last time the two teams met was back in the 2003/4 season, where an Alan Thompson goal to take the lead at the Olympiastadion was overturned by a Roy Makaay brace in a respectable effort from Martin O'Neill's men, with the reverse tie resulting in a stalemate at Parkhead.

Brendan Rodgers' side will come up against the reigning Bundesliga champions, in their Ultra modern and vibrant Allianz Arena led by Carlo Ancelotti. With quality from back to front, the Bhoys will have to be at their best to match Die Roten, who are serial winners in Europe's top competition.

Paris Saint-Germain
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Previously meeting the Parisian side in the old Cup Winner's Cup, the tie was one to forget for Tommy Burn's men as they were defeated 4-0 on aggregate by Luis Fernández's team which included defender Stephen Mahé who went on to join the hoops.

The Ligue 1 runners-up nowadays boast a wealth both on and off the park, with latest star signing Neymar commanding the highest fee...
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Celtic secure Champions League Group Stage Football for the second consecutive season
Well, we've done it. For the second year in a row, the Hoops will be sitting at the top table of European football, rubbing shoulders with the very best and, no doubt, making another trip to the Nou Camp..

In all seriousness, despite a very nervous 25 minute period in the second half of tonight's game in Kazakhstan, Brendan Rodgers' men have done it in tremendous fashion this year. The first round against Linfield may have been a gimme but Rosenborg and Astana are definitely no mugs, and the promise of Champions League football and the riches which come with such a prize, means just as much to them as it does to us. The pressure of these game cannot be underestimated, so to come out of tonight with an 8-4 aggregate win is fantastic, regardless of a slightly below par performance in tonight's second leg.

Even then, if you look at the game on the whole, Celtic have still gone away from home, to a venue where the home side are unbeaten in 14 previous European games, and scored 3 goals, while also controlling it for the entirety of the 1st half (near enough). Throw in the fact we are technically playing in Asia at the same time, and the convincing win over two legs against the Kazakhs is even more impressive.

If any Celtic fan has any complaints tonight, they need only think back to this time approximately 2 years ago. Had this been the Hoops side from then, we'd once again be sitting cursing yet another failure at the final hurdle, looking 'forward' to the prospect of Europa League football. Don't get me wrong, the Europa is not a bad competition at all, and I believe it gets a lot of unfair stick. However, nothing beats the sound of that Champions League theme tune ringing around Celtic...
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Forrest (40') McGregor (88')

19th August 2017
Rugby Park
Labrokes Premiership: Round 3

CELTIC continue 100% start to the season with laidback win against Killie

BRENDAN RODGERS' Celtic side are well accustomed to winning games comfortably by now, and today's lunchtime kick off at Rugby Park was no different. The Northern Irishman made a number of changes to the side which thumped Kazakh champions Astana in the midweek Champions League Play-Off 1st leg, but there was absolutely no let up in the intensity as a young Hoops side swept aside yet another domestic opponent with ease.

Both Calvin Miller and Anthony Ralston once again took their place in the starting XI at both full back positions, roles they excelled in just a week or so ago in the hammering of the same opponent in the Betfred Cup. Kristoffer Ajer was also given a chance to impress on his return to the ground where he spent last season on loan, while Kundai Benyu continued his early apprenticeship as a Celtic player on the left wing. It is a sign of the sheer confidence that Rodgers has in his squad that he was able to rest players such as Jozo Simunovic, Leigh Griffiths and Scott Sinclair without so much as a second thought, and on the evidence of this performance, why not?

As is sometimes to be expected when numerous changes are made to a side, the Hoops began the game in a relatively slow fashion. With no recognised striker on the park, it was up to James Forrest once more to operate within a false-9 role, one which he is now becoming pretty adept...