Celtic fans react to controversial Champions League draw

Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew lifts the Gibson Cup after the Premiership title was secured

Linfield captain Jamie Mulgrew lifts the Gibson Cup after the Premiership title was secured

Northern Irish side Linfield have set up a potential Champions League second-round clash with Glasgow Celtic, following the draw for the preliminary rounds on Monday.

But earlier today sports journalist Steven Beacom took to Twitter, reporting that the two clubs have already agreed that the game will not take place on July 12.

52-time champions Linfield and San Marino minnows SP La Fiorita are to meet in the first qualifying ties on 27/28 June and 4/5 July, after which Celtic will know whether or not a trip to Belfast is on the cards. "Both clubs have ruled it out!" he wrote. I'm sure the fans would love nothing more than a game against Celtic.

Rodgers, however, got off to a disappointing start twelve months ago when Celtic were beaten 1-0 by part-time Gibraltar club Lincoln Red Imps in July 2016.

Uefa did not respond to an inquiry regarding the timing of the game but they would be unlikely to disregard the views of the local police force if the PSNI took a firm view that the Belfast leg should not go ahead as scheduled.

"Our preference is to play the home leg first, for financial reasons that's obvious the best thing for us".

It means the Scottish champs could face Linfield, a club with close links to their arch rivals Rangers. "That is the preferred option at the moment but there have been no discussions about switching the games at all", Mr McGivern added.

"They were the top team in the draw, they've had a tremendous season and of course there is the Brendan Rodgers factor, too". Celtic are a level far above what we play at. Being realistic, I don't think there would be any chance of us beating them.

"If you are playing Celtic these days you're up against it".

Celtic's Jonny Hayes - a Republic of Ireland worldwide recently signed from Aberdeen - said he has no concerns about the potential clash in Belfast.

"I've never really thought about stuff off the park".

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