Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Celtic manager Neil Lennon’s braced for Braga attack

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has warned his players they will face a team focused on attack when they play Sporting Braga in the Champions League next week.

Braga finished second behind Benfica in the Portuguese league last season after leading the way for much of the campaign.

But a place in the Champions League third qualifying round was still a huge achievement for coach Domingos Paciencia.

Braga lost home and away to Swedish side Elfsborg to exit the Europa League qualifiers at the first hurdle last term, but navigated their way through the UEFA Cup group stages in the two previous years.

“They had a decent run in the UEFA Cup in the last few years and had some decent results,” Lennon said.

“They are a very attack-minded team, score a lot of goals and are technically very good.

“And they finished second in the Portuguese league, which is probably their best finish ever, so they will be full of confidence.

“I know they have a new coach and have brought in a quite a few new players, so we will be working in the background trying to get as much information on them as we can.

“But I think it's a decent draw for us as well. No matter who you get at this stage — we were unseeded, so they were in the seeded group — they are going to be a quality team.

“Logistically, it's okay as it's only a two-hour flight and that will work in our favour.”

Mexico international Efrain Juarez is still to complete the formalities of his move to Celtic despite already undergoing a medical and the club have offered Northern Ireland winger Paddy McCourt a new two-year deal.

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