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    Champions League draw: Celtic to play Linfield or San Marino side in second qualifying round


    Celtic are expected to face Linfield in the Champions League qualifying round after UEFA's preliminary draw was held on Monday in Nyon.

    Brendan Rodgers' men went unbeaten domestically in a record-breaking 2016-17 season in which they won all three titles available in the coach's first year in charge.

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    The Scottish side reached the group stage of the Champions League last year but finished bottom in a tough draw with Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach.

    Linfield are heavy favourites against San Marino side SP La Fiorita in the first qualification round, which they'll need to win to book their fixture with Celtic.

    CHAMPIONS LEAGUE FIRST QUALIFYING ROUND

    MATCH NO.
    JUNE 27/28 JULY 4/5

    The minnows of the Champions League face off against each other later this month and again in the return fixtures at the start of July.

    There's a notable all-British tie when Welsh champions The New Saints face Gibraltar's Europa FC.

    CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SECOND QUALIFYING ROUND

    SEEDED TEAM
    Winner of Q1 Match 2 JULY 11/12
    Winner of Q1 Match 4 JULY 11/12
    Winner of Q1 Match 5 JULY 11/12
    Winner of Q1 Match 1 JULY 11/12
    Winner of Q1 Match 3 JULY 11/12 JULY 18/19

    Celtic are the biggest team in the draw, with the highest coefficient - how UEFA ranks clubs in continental competition - and the only former European champions at this early stage of the tournament.

    Swedish side Malmo, runners up in the 1979 European Cup final, will hope to repeat their 2015-16 efforts when they qualified for the group stage proper via the qualification round.

    Irish champions Dundalk have been drawn against Norwegian side Rosenborg.

    WHEN IS THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE PLAY-OFF DRAW?

    Following a third qualification round in which the likes of Nice and Ajax join the fray - that draw is on July 14 - the Champions League play-off round big guns join the elimination round in a draw on August 4.

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    Liverpool, Sevilla, Napoli, Hoffenheim and Sporting are the teams who enter at the play-off stage.

    The Champions League group stage draw will take place on August 24 once all of the qualification and play-off matches are taken care of.

    Should Liverpool win their two-legged tie, England could have five teams in the Champions League group stage for the first time ever due to Manchester United's win in the Europa League final.

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