Lyon boss Rudi Garcia hails 'fantastic' Celtic; sends 'no friendly' warning

By John McGinley

July 11, 2020

Lyon manager Rudi Garcia has proclaimed Celtic as exactly what he was looking for to prepare ahead of the return of competitive football, The Daily Record reports.

The Scottish champions will face off against the Ligue 1 outfit next Saturday in a glamour friendly played in front of 5,000 home supporters and broadcast live on Premier Sports in the UK.

It’s part of a three-match gauntlet for Neil Lennon’s side in France, with Nice and Paris Saint-Germain providing stern competition in our other two games.

Lyon are due to take on Juventus in a mammoth Champions League knockout tie in early August and for Garcia, Celtic are the perfect opponents to warm up with.

As quoted by The Daily Record, the Frenchman said: “Preparation is essential and no friendly games will be played.

“Playing against Rangers and Celtic, two high-level teams in Scotland, is exactly what we are looking for.

“They are two fantastic opponents for us at Groupama Stadium, even if, unfortunately, we will not be able to play with as many supporters as we wanted.”

Lyon finished ahead of RB Leipzig and FC Zenit in their Champions League group, also holding a 1-0 first-leg lead over Juve.

It’s not going to be an easy match for Scott Brown and company, up against prime talents like Houssem Aouar, as well as former stars Moussa Dembele and Jason Denayer.

Former Celtic star Moussa Dembele celebrates a Lyon goal / (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP) (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)

By the sounds of things, a full-strength side will be played in Lyon and Celtic will be able to accurately assess how they measure up to a side that has ambitions of a deep run in Europe.

At the very least it’ll be excellent fitness preparation for the Hoops as they gear up to take on Hamilton Accies in the Scottish Premiership opener at Celtic Park in early August.

An exciting seven days is ahead of us!