Celtic aim to reach the Champions League group stages for the
first time in four years when they tackle Swedish side
Helsingborgs on Tuesday in a game where the legacy of former
Hoops star Henrik Larsson looms large.
Larsson spent seven years with the Glasgow giants but started and
finished his career with the Swedish champions.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon said that despite his close
relationship with Larsson, he will not be seeking inside
information ahead of their play-off first leg tie in Sweden on
"Henrik will have a foot in both camps and I'm sure his head will
be spinning with people ringing him, whether it be from Celtic's
side, Helsingborgs' side or the press," said Lennon.
"I'm sure he will be getting inundated with requests for
information and interviews. I am going to leave him to it. I
wouldn't want to put him in that position. We have plenty of
people who will do plenty of homework."
Larsson hit 242 goals in 315 competitive appearances for Celtic
during a career which featured two spells with Helsingborg --
first from 1992-93 and then from 2006-09.
Celtic will host the return leg on August 29 with the winners
progressing to the group stages along with the nine other victors
of the play-off ties.
Germany's Borussia Moenchengladbach are looking to reach Europe's
elite club competition for the first time since 1978 but first
must get the better of experienced European campaigners Dynamo
Moenchengladbach's fourth-place finish in last season's
Bundesliga has taken them to within one step of making a group
Dynamo reached the play-offs by beating Feyenoord 3-1 on
aggregate in the third qualifying round.
In other ties, Spartak Moscow meet Fenerbahce of Turkey looking
to reach the group stages for the 11th time.
Danish league runners-up Copenhagen tackle Lille having lost
three of their four previous home matches against French
On Wednesday, Hapoel Kiryat Shmona take on Belarusian side BATE
Borisov looking to follow in the footsteps of Maccabi Haifa,
Maccabi Tel-Aviv and Hapoel Tel-Aviv and become the fourth
Israeli club to compete in the group stages.
Limassol of Cyprus face Anderlecht with the Belgians hoping to
end a run of four successive failures in qualifying between 2007
Spain's Malaga tackle Panathinaikos in what could be an
Panathinaikos coach Jesualdo Ferreira was hired as Malaga boss in
June 2010 but lasted just five months before being replaced by
Play-offs 1st leg matches
Spartak Moscow (RUS) v Fenerbahce (TUR), Basel (SUI) v Cluj
(ROM), Helsingborg (SWE) v Celtic (SCO), Moenchengladbach (GER) v
Dynamo Kiev (UKR), Copenhagen (DEN) v Lille (FRA)
Bate Borisov (BLR) v Kiryat Shmona (ISR), Limassol (CYP) v
Anderlecht (BEL), Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) v Maribor (SLO), Braga
(POR) v Udinese (ITA), Malaga (ESP) v Panathinaikos (GRE)
2nd legs: August 28 and 29