Celtic will be able to rely on a good number of players’ past experiences when they travel to Rennes next week.
Neil Lennon’s men will get their Europa League group stage campaign underway with a game against the Ligue 1 high-flyers. The Brittany based side may only be playing their third season in Europe this decade but they’ll still be familiar to a few in the Celtic first-team squad.
Lennon himself has first hand experience of taking his side to Roazhon Park. We earned an impressive 1-1 draw there in 2011 despite conceding one of the worst own goals you’re ever likely to see.
Celtic have decent memories of Rennes
Current first-team members Fraser Forster and James Forrest both played that night while Scott Brown was also at the club. Added to that, French pair Christopher Jullien and Odsonne Edouard will also have experience of facing Rennes from their time in Ligue 1.
The fact that we’re not going into the complete unknown has got to be a factor in our favour. The spine of our team will have a fair idea of what to expect. If they can set the tone then we should be able to exert our play from there.
Celtic set the standard for away performances at hostile grounds with the recent wins over AIK and Rangers.
On both occasions we defended resolutely and then took our opportunities on the counter-attack. A similar performance in France could see us acquire an even better result.
If we can avoid defeat then it will be another good mark against Lennon’s name.