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Rodgers is gearing up to take on Blues

By Steven Beacom

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers intends to use today's friendly in Dublin against Shamrock Rovers to tune up for next week's big Champions League clash with Linfield at Windsor Park, which will be screened live on television by Premier Sports.

The first leg of the second qualifying round tie in Belfast is expected to attract around 12,000 fans after Celtic refused to take their ticket allocation due to 'safety and security' reasons.

If any Celtic supporters turn up at Windsor for the 5pm kick-off wearing team colours they will not be allowed in. It is also understood that arrangements are being put in place for Friday's game should it become apparent during the game that fans of the Glasgow club are in the stadium.

Turnover for Linfield in relation to the tie between the Blues and Bhoys could reach £1m due to Uefa prize money, gate receipts, television revenue, advertising and merchandising.

Today in a friendly, the Blues host a Hearts side (3pm) likely to include Northern Ireland internationals Kyle Lafferty, Aaron Hughes and Michael Smith. At the same time Rodgers' men take on Shamrock Rovers.

Carnlough native Rodgers said: ''We are only a couple of weeks into our pre-season so we are still in the process of building our fitness. The Shamrock Rovers game will be a nice test.''

Belfast Telegraph


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