Bhoys to face Braga

Image: Lennon: Tough task

Celtic are set to face Portuguese outfit Sporting Braga in the Champions League third qualifying round.

Lennon's men drawn against Portuguese foes

Celtic are set to face Portuguese outfit Sporting Braga in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. Neil Lennon's Hoops now face a daunting task if they are to reach the group stages of Europe's premier club competition. Braga ended the 2009/10 campaign as runners-up in the Portuguese top flight, underlining their credentials. They also boast a decent record against British opposition over recent seasons, having turned out in both the 2006/07 and 2008/09 Uefa Cup. During the first of those European adventures they held Bolton Wanderers to a 1-1 draw, while they crushed Portsmouth 3-0 on home soil two years later.


Celtic, who were beaten to the SPL title by Old Firm rivals Rangers, know they will need to be at their best if they are to make inroads in the Champions League. Even if they are able to see off Braga, a play-off against the likes of Tottenham, Sampdoria and Sevilla would have to be negotiated before they make the group stages. The first leg of their meeting with Braga will take place on 27th or 28th July with the return meeting at Parkhead due to be staged on 3rd or 4th August. Defeat in the tie would leave Lennon's side in the play-off round of the Europa League along with clubs such as Dundee United, Manchester City and Aston Villa.

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