Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 31 July 2014

Champions League: Celtic draw Cliftonville

Cliftonville celebrate winning the Danske Bank Premiership
Cliftonville celebrate winning the Danske Bank Premiership
Celtic are set to host Cliftonville at Celtic Park on July 16 or 17
Celtic are set to host Cliftonville at Celtic Park on July 16 or 17

Cliftonville will play Celtic in the second qualifying round of the Champions League.

The Irish League champions secured an exciting match against the Scottish giants in Monday's Uefa draw - the first time a Northern Irish club will face Celtic in a competitive match.

The first leg will be played at Celtic Park on July 16/17 with the return leg on July 23/24.

Should they overcome the Danske Bank Premiership winners, Neil Lennon's men will need to get through two more qualifying rounds to reach the group stage.

Celtic - who lifted the trophy in 1967 - will be hoping for a repeat of last season's success in the competition.

They overcame HJK Helsinki and Helsingborgs to book their place in the group stage, where they faced Barcelona, Spartak Moscow and Benfica.

Impressive results - including a famous victory over the Catalan giants - saw them progress to the last 16, where they were eventually eliminated by Juventus.

The Scottish champion's campaign this year will begin against a side who won their own domestic league by eight points last term.

Cliftonville's European campaign last season came to an end at the first qualifying round of the Europa League at the hands of Swedish side Kalmar.

The draw in Nyon, Switzerland also saw Irish champions Sligo Rovers take on Molde, who are managed by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Crusaders, Linfield, Glentoran and Derry City will be in the draw for the Europa League qualifiers later on Monday.

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