Pre-season fixtures announced as Celtic embark on English tour

It may not be the pre-season that Celtic players were looking for, but perhaps after their last trip abroad (yes, that one in Dubai), then staying in the United Kingdom this summer might just be the best course of action that the Celtic board have taken in some while.

Gone are the leafy fixtures of yesteryear – which involved the humorously-named Wiener FC, St Gallen and European force Stade Rennais rocking up against Neil Lennon’s side – but instead a Tour de Britain will suffice instead this July, with plenty of familiar faces visiting the club – hopefully not coming back to haunt us in the warm up to the 20/21 season.

In just six weeks, the first team will undergo a training camp in Wales, at a self-proclaimed ‘state-of-the-art world class facility’. In the nine-day-stay here, Celtic will face three opponents, with two of those known: languishing fallen giant Charlton Athletic, who currently occupy the third tier of English football, and the free falling Bristol City, who hold the unfortunate title of being the worst team in the Championship in 2021. If the new manager (cough, Howe) has any credentials, his repertoire of being a proven Championship manager will come to the fore in the first two games of pre-season by facing two distinctly average sides.

Following this, Celtic return to Paradise to face Preston North End, where they meet a familiar foe; the one and only wonderful Scotty Sinclair, who still plies his trade in Lancashire after moving there from Paradise in January 2020. This may well be the first fixture to hold Celtic fans since the 7th March 2020, where Celtic drubbed St Mirren 4-0 in front of 58,000 fans. It won’t be anywhere near that capacity; but it is a start.

18.09.2016. Caledonian Stadium, Inverness, Scotland. Scottish Premier League Football. Inverness CT versus Celtic. Scott Sinclair celebrates his goal

And finally, a week after the Preston fixture, another familiar foe comes to town – this time in the dugout, as David Moyes brings his on-form West Ham United side to Paradise on Saturday, July 24th. Moyes’ men shouldn’t be underestimated; having finished 6th in the English Premier League last season, they represent a real challenge for whoever may be in charge (cough, Howe).

It will be interesting to see how this new look Celtic side gets on in front of an expectant crowd – let’s hope they come up trumps against the sides from down south.

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  1. I’m sure it was 5-0 against ST Mirren.
    I was fortunate to be there to see this last game with fans in attendance.