The Scottish Sun has today reported that Celtic are penciled in to face PSG in a glamour pre-season friendly clash on 22 July.

The Battle of the Champions will see the Hoops return to the scene of their 7-1 Champions League mauling back in 2017. However, their clash with the Ligue 1 powerhouse won’t be their only match in France.

That’s because Lyon manager Rudi Garcia has confirmed that Celtic will participate in a mini pre-season tournament there between 16 July and 18 July.

It’s unclear as of yet as to who Celtic will face. However, rivals Rangers will also take part in the competition along with Lyon and Nice.

Speaking in comments published in the Scottish Sun today, Garcia said the following:

“It’s not been easy to arrange preparation friendlies and we have opted for eight weeks to prepare for the new season.

“That will include a tournament at Groupama stadium against Rangers and Celtic, with Nice being the other team. The thinking behind this was it was necessary to find quality opponents in leagues that have not resumed.

“We need to prepare both for the start of the new season and the Champions League game against Juventus. “

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 22:  Neymar of PSG scores his team's first goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic FC at Parc des Princes on November 22, 2017 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 22: Neymar of PSG scores his team’s first goal during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Paris Saint-Germain and Celtic FC at Parc des Princes on November 22, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

A massive positive for Celtic ahead of August

This is great news from a Celtic perspective. The current health pandemic has starved Hoops supporters and players of any form of football since March. Meaning their games in France will be their first taste of action in nearly four months.

But make no mistake, their jaunt across the English Channel isn’t just for a kick-about. The nature of the rivalry with Steven Gerrard’s Rangers will have supporters demanding the Hoops put in a strong showing that eclipses what their old foes produce.

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 22: Neymar Jr of PSG celebrates his second goal while players of Celtic look down during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Celtic FC at Parc des Princes on November 22, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE – NOVEMBER 22: Neymar Jr of PSG celebrates his second goal while players of Celtic look down during the UEFA Champions League group B match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Celtic FC at Parc des Princes on November 22, 2017 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

In addition to the mini-tournament, which surely won’t include a Glasgow derby, Celtic have a big chance to do themselves the justice in Paris that they failed to do three years ago.

Granted, the game against PSG has yet to be officially confirmed, but it’s looking more and more likely. And even though it will only be a friendly, the scars from the 7-1 embarrassment under Brendan Rodgers could do with a slight covering.

But the main thing for Neil Lennon is that his side will be able to face some top quality opposition before the Premiership season starts next month. The French league being called this summer has given Lennon’s Bhoys a huge opportunity to give a good account of themselves in a country where heartbreak has so often attached itself to the club.

It’ll be intriguing to see how everything unfolds this month, but finally it’s something for the Celtic support to look forward to.

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