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Celtic drawn with Cliftonville

Celtic have been drawn to play Northern Ireland champions Cliftonville in qualifying for the UEFA Champions League.

Last Updated: 02/07/13 at 13:02 Post Comment

Celtic: Neil Lennon's men in action against Barcelona in last season's C

Celtic: Neil Lennon's men in action against Barcelona in last season's C

Neil Lennon's side will play the first leg of their second-round qualifier on July 16/17 before hosting the return game a week later.

Celtic reached the knockout stage of last season's competition thanks in part to a group-stage victory over Barcelona in Glasgow, and striker Anthony Stokes is looking forward to this term's opener.

He told the club website: "It's a great draw for both clubs "Cliftonville had an exceptional season and it will be a tough game and we will have to be at our best, but we're going to have a good pre-season and will be ready.

"Both atmospheres will be electric. I'm sure they will have a good crowd over here for the game as I know there is a decent relationship between the two clubs.

"I know a lot of their fans would be Celtic fans as well or would look for us to do well, though maybe not in these two games."

Elsewhere, Welsh club the New Saints were paired with Legia Warsaw of Poland, while Irish champions Sligo Rovers will take on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Norwegian side Molde.

The winners of the second-round ties must come through two further rounds of qualifying to make the group stage, although should Celtic progress they will be seeded for any further qualifying rounds.

UEFA Champions League first and second qualifying round draws:

First qualifying round:

Shirak v Tre Penne

Lusitanos v EB/Streymur

Ties to be played 2/3 and 9/10 July

Second qualifying round:

Neftci v Skenderbeu

Steaua Bucuresti v Vardar

Plzen v Zeljeznicar

FC Sheriff v Sutjeska

Birkirkara v Maribor

Sligo Rovers v Molde

IF Elfsborg v FC Daugava

HJK Helsinki v Nomme Kalju

FK Ekranas v FH Hafnarfjordur

The New Saints v Legia Warsaw

Celtic v Cliftonville

Dinamo Zagreb v CS Fola Esch

Gyor v Maccabi Tel-Aviv

BATE v Shakhtyor Karaganda

Shirak/Tre Penne v Partizan Belgrade

Slovan Bratislava v Ludogorets

Dinamo Tbilisi v Lusitanos/EB/Streymur

Ties to be played 16/17 and 23/24 July

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f Klopp is available and willing to go there, they have to sign him up. Far better manager than Rodgers. The reason Liverpool fail in so many big games is the inflexible nature of their manager and his inability to find strikers who fit into his inflexible style of play. A feature of nearly every game that the team comes up short is the way the opposition midfield appears to overpower them. It's too easy.

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Make Way For A Proper Genius, Brendan

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est player award should not go to a player who's second best at all the importent categories (i.e goals, assists etc) just because his team is at the top. If you are not first you are last; if you're second you are the first loser ( looking at you Hazard). David De Gea for POTY.

mrbigstuff
Chelsea Not Worthy? Oh Please Stop It...

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ou can win five in a row or lose five in a row... Or in Carver's case you can win one in a row or lose five in a row.

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Carver: I'm up to the job

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