By support

19th Jun, 2018 | 12:41pm

'Not an easy draw' - Respected journalist sounds note of caution as Celtic CL journey begins

Celtic’s upcoming first round Champions League qualifying tie against Armenian champions Alashkert will not be easy, according to a respected journalist.

Phil Gordon, who writes for The Times and World Soccer amongst others, claimed on his personal Twitter account that the side who defeated St Johnstone in the Europa League in 2015 could give the Hoops a tough game.

He then went on to claim that the temperature that the Hoops will have to deal with in Aremenia could be a factor in the game and that Celtic will need to learn the lessons of their infamous loss to Lincoln Red Imps in 2016.

The first leg of the tie will be played in Armenia on the 10th or 11th of July with the second leg a week later.

Football Insider verdict

Celtic will just want to get this tie over and done with as soon as possible. There is always a danger that the players could be undercooked going into the game, as it is the first competitive game of the season. Add to that the heat that won’t be easy to deal with, Brendan Rodgers will be wanting the Hoops to come away from the first leg with a good result to take into the second leg in Glasgow. Perhaps, in a reverse of the usual logic, the Hoops would have preferred to be at home for this first round tie. They could have given Alashkert a heavy defeat in the first leg, then played squad players in the heat of Armenia to give most of the first-team a break from what will be difficult conditions to play in. That isn’t the case though, and the Hoops will just need to get on with it, as their four round campaign to qualify for the Champions League group stages begins in earnest.

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