Celtic to head to Austria for Champions League preparations

By Connor Gordon

April 18, 2019

Celtic have confirmed on their website they will go back to Austria for their pre-season preparations.

The Hoops will play SC Pinkafeld, Wiener SC and FC St Gallen before tackling European competition.

The Bhoys are familiar with the eastern Europe routine, having done the trip a couple of years on the bounce.

However, is this the right way to be preparing for a massive mountain?

Celtic will play low level sides

The new manager will take his team back to Austria to play teams down the scale of the Austrian and Swiss leagues.

Will Neil Lennon be leading Celtic to Austria? (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

They’ll kick off against Pinkafeld who are in the fourth tier of the country’s system.

It will be more about match fitness this one and making sure everyone can get a run out to assess their legs.

Then it gets harder for The Bhoys as they play second tier Wiener…no giggiling at the back.

Finally, Celtic will tackle Swiss top flight side St Gallen who finished fifth last season and have former Leverkusen and Schalke man Tranquillo Barnetta.

Tranquillo Barnetta will face the Hoops in July. (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images)

The Hoops failed to get into the Champions League last season and preparation could be to do with that.

Perhaps a higher calibre of opponent, if available at the early stages will help the Hoops.

Possible other venues for pre-season

Celtic are usually drawn with at least one Scandinavian club on average in qualifying stages.

Perhaps it would be beneficial to have a training camp up north to play similar teams.

Celtic have came up against Scandinavian clubs in past qualifying games. (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)

It would give both coaching staffs a flavour of what they will come up against in European competition.

Surely this is better than playing against lower league sides who won’t tell you a lot about your squad.

The Hoops do face tougher teams towards the end of pre-season but they treat the match like a training session.

A change in preparation could do wonders for Celtic and must be addressed in the future.