Celtic Face Braga in Champions League Qualifying Round

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Glasgow Celtic, who by their standards are having an indifferent spell of form have been handed a tough draw in the Champions League 3rd qualifying round, having to take on Portuguese league runners up Sporting Club Braga.  Although not a widely known team outside of their home country Braga are past European winners having won the Inter Toto Cup in 2008-9 and last season recorded their highest ever league finish. Much of their success was down to their excellent home form, they won 14 of their 15 home games last season and only conceded 6 goals.

Celtic are poor European travelers and will probably be thankful for the fact the 1st leg is away, so letting them know what they need to achieve in the second leg. They will take some confidence from the fact that Braga lost 5-3 on aggregate to Hearts in 2004, and last season were soundly beaten by Swedish side IF Elfsborg at this stage.

However Braga have improved dramatically of late and with the addition of some talented Brazilian players they now have a squad which could make it to the group stages. If Celtic are to progress they will need to keep the away leg close and hope that a packed Parkhead crowd can roar them to victory, and given their current financial state failure is not an option as there is no Europa League group place for the losers of this one meaning another potential nerve racking playoff.

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