Betfred Sport

Celtic face Swedish test

Swedish champions Helsingborgs stand in the way of Neil Lennon’s Celtic in the playoff round of the UEFA Champions League.

The draw paired the two teams together in Nyon, Switzerland, with the Scottish champions visiting Sweden on August 21/22.

The return leg will be at Parkhead on the August 28/29.

It is a return trip for Lennon’s side to Scandinavia, after they dispatched HJK Helsinki in the last qualifying round.

Out of the 20 teams in the draw, the only previous winners have been the Scottish side, having won the European Cup way back in 1967.

Tricky ties

Elsewhere in the draw, cash-strapped Malaga face a tricky tie against Greek club Panathinaikos whilst the conquerors of Manchester United in the group stages last season FC Basle will play Romanian champions CFR Cluj.

Two regular campaigners will do battle as Spartak Moscow were paired up with Fenerbahce and the Italian representative in the draw Udinese will face two mouth-watering games with the UEFA Europa League finalists in 2011 Sporting Braga.

All ties will take place in the final two weeks of August, with the group stage draw being conducted in Monaco on Thursday, August 30 at 4.45pm.

There is no English participation in this stage, due to Chelsea’s glorious success in Munich in May.

The Blues advance straight into the group phase along with the automatic qualifiers through the Premier League Manchester City, Manchester United and Arsenal.

The final will be played at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2013.

UEFA Champions League playoff round draw

All ties to be played on August 21/22 and August 28/29, 2012

FC Basle v CFR Cluj

Helsingborgs v Celtic

BATE Borisov v Hapoel Kiryat Shmona

AEL Limassol v Anderlecht

Dinamo Zagreb v Maribor

Sporting Braga v Udinese

Spartak Moscow v Fenerbahce

Malaga v Panathinaikos

Borussia Monchengladbach v Dynamo Kiev

Lille v FC Copenhagen

By Simon Wright – Follow me on Twitter @Siwri88

Follow Total Football on Twitter: @TotalFootball12

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