06282017

Celtic seeded in Champions League second qualifying round draw

Celtic celebrate

Celtic dropped only eight points in winning a sixth successive Scottish top-flight title

Celtic will be drawn in the second qualifying round of the Champions League on Monday.

The Scottish champions are one of the seeded teams, along with Salzburg, FC Copenhagen, Malmo and Rosenborg.

League of Ireland winners Dundalk and Slovak champions Zilina are among the unseeded teams.

The draw for the five first qualifying round ties will be made earlier on Monday (11:00 BST) and Celtic could face the winner of one of those ties.

For the second qualifying round draw, Uefa say teams will be “split into groups with equal numbers of seeded and unseeded teams who are drawn together”.

The first qualifying round first-leg ties will be on 27 or 28 June with the return legs on 4 or 5 July. The dates for the second qualifying round ties are 11/12 July and 18/19 July.

New arrival Jonny Hayes is excited about playing in the competition for the first time.

“You can’t get away from the Champions League,” he told the club website after completing his move from Aberdeen on Saturday. “I can imagine it is the reason many players have wanted to come here.

“Not only is it the size and stature of the club, Champions League nights and the atmosphere are a massive factor in wanting to come here.

“Whether you’re a football fan or not, everybody knows about the atmosphere of Champions League nights at Celtic Park. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want a part of that.”

Last season, Celtic came through the second and third qualifying rounds and the play-off round to reach the group stage, finishing bottom of their section.

Brendan Rodgers’ side suffered defeat only in Champions League matches last season with Celtic winning the domestic treble for the first time in 16 years.

In the play-off round, Celtic beat Hapoel Beer Sheva 5-4 on aggregate and the Israeli side are one of the seeded teams in the second qualifying round draw.

Northern Ireland’s Linfield and Wales’ The New Saints are seeded sides in the first qualifying round draw.

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