CELTIC will face Iceland outfit Stjarnan in the second qualifying round of the Champions League.
The Premiership champions will start at home on 14/15th July against the side who knocked Motherwell out of the Europa League qualifiers in the last campaign.
Second leg will be held in Reykjavik on 21/22nd July.
It comes just a year after the Hoops last faced Icelandic opposition. They overcame KR Reykjavík 5-0 on aggregate in the same round of the Champions League qualifiers last season in what were Ronny Deila’s first competitive fixtures in charge.
Stjarnan will have fond memories of their last trip to Scotland after ending Motherwell’s European dream last July with an extra-time winner to sink them 5-4 on aggregate.
Stjarnan were formed just 55 years ago and play in blue and white. They currently sit sixth in the league after eight games, seven points of the lead.
They qualified by winning the title by a point after winning 15 of their 22 games.
Last year’s European exploits were the club’s first in history. They hammered Welsh outfit Bangor City 8-0 on aggregate before taking on Stuart McCall’s ‘Well side in the second round of the Europa League qualifiers.
The Fir Park men earned a 2-2 draw at home and took the lead twice on their travels, but it wasn’t enough to see off stubborn Stjarnan who won in extra-time.
The Icelanders then beat Poland’s Lech Poznan 1-0, but were denied a place in the group stages when they lost 9-0 to Inter Milan in the play-offs.
Former Motherwell keeper Gunnar Nielson signed for the club in April 2015. The Faroese is their current number one after making his debut last month.
Striker Garðar Jóhannsson is also no stranger to Hoops gaffer Deila – he played under him at Strømsgodset.
Stjarnan are perhaps most famous for their wonderful goal celebrations – see the You Tube video below which has achieved over a million views. Hopefully Celtic will be spared this particular form of entertainment come July.
Their stadium, Stjörnuvöllur, has one stand which holds 1,000 seated supporters and a further 400 standing.
It’s located in the south of Reykjavik, 10 minutes from the city centre.
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