Celtic Euro focus: Rennes off the top, Lazio in derby action

By Hamish Carton

September 2, 2019

Late last week, Celtic found out that they would share Europa League Group E with Lazio, Rennes and Cluj in the coming months.

Neil Lennon’s men have already faced the latter two this season while Lazio will bring more unknown quality to the table. It promises to be a tough ask for the Hoops to make it to the last 32 of the competition, but they’ll give it their best shot.

And in the meantime, 67HH will give you our best shot of keeping up to date with the domestic fortunes of our three upcoming rivals. Here’s the first installment of our Euro Focus.

Lazio

Celtic weren’t the only Group E side playing a fierce derby at the weekend. Top seeds Lazio were in action in their famous Derby della Capitale against AS Roma. Lazio were the hosts, albeit in the shared stadium, and favourites for the match but they could only muster a 1-1 draw.

(photo by Massimo Insabato/Archivio Massimo Insabato/Mondadori Portfolio via Getty Images)

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An Aleksandar Kolarov penalty had the visitors ahead in the early stages of the encounter before midfielder Luis Alberto levelled matters in the second-half.

Lazio had the vast majority of the chances in the clash but had to settle for a point in the end. They’re now fourth in Serie A – two points off Inter, Juventus and Torino.

Rennes

Celtic’s upcoming opponents went into their match at home to Nice as the only team in Ligue 1 with a 100% winning record. After beating PSG in their last home match confidence was high and they led early through an own goal from Nice keeper Walter Benitez.

(LOIC VENANCE/AFP/Getty Images)

However the visitors fought back in the second-half and took the three points through goals from Wylan Cyprien and Racine Coly.

Rennes are now down to second and play Brest away from home after the international break, before taking on Celtic.

Cluj

Dan Petrescu’s side have suffered a bit of a decline in form since winning 4-3 at Celtic Park. Since that result in mid August, the Romanians have won just one of their five matches.

(Photo by Alex Nicodim/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

That slump continued on Saturday as they lost 3-2 away to Astra. Alexandru Paun netted both of his side’s goals but it wasn’t enough as they slipped to second in the table behind Gaz Metan.