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Celtic Begin Trek To Champions League Group Stage

Celtic face a trip to Armenia to open their qualifying campaign. Brendan Rodgers’ side were drawn to face Alashkert in the first qualifying round as they seek to reach the group stages for a third consecutive year.

Alashkert, who knocked St Johnstone out of the three seasons ago, are due to play at home in the first leg, although selections are subject to change.

Celtic begin the first of what they hope are four qualifying rounds on July 10-11. They could also face a rematch with Rosenborg in the second qualifying round.

The Hoops were drawn out of the pot against the winners of the all-Nordic contest between Iceland’s Valur and the Norwegian champions.

Elsewhere, Northern Irish champions Crusaders were paired with Bulgarians Ludogorets, the highest-ranked team in the draw. While Cork City were also handed a tough encounter against Polish side Legia Warsaw.

The New Saints will face Macedonian champions Shkendija. The seeded Welsh side are due to play the first leg away from home. Shkendija drew twice with Aberdeen in the Europa League three years ago – their most recent European experience – with the Scots progressing on away goals.

Champions League first qualifying round draw in full

  • FC Torpedo Kutaisi vs FC Sheriff
  • KF Shkendija vs TNS
  • FK Suduva vs APOEL FC
  • NK Olimpija Ljubljana vs Qarabag FK
  • F91 Dudelange vs Videoton FC
  • Winner of preliminary round vs Malmo
  • HJK Helsinki vs Vikingur
  • Ludogorets vs Crusaders
  • Cork City vs Legia Warsaw
  • Valur Reykjavik vs Rosenborg
  • FK Kukesi vs Valletta FC
  • FC Flora Tallinn vs Hapoel Beer Sheva
  • FK Spartaks Jurmala v FK Crvena Zvezda
  • Alashkert FC vs Celtic FC