Tonight’s Europa League clash at Celtic Park may be a bit of a dead rubber for Rennes, but it won’t stop a sizable away support from travelling to Glasgow.
Julien Stephan’s men have underwhelmed in Group E – taking just one point from four matches – but they’ll still be backed by around 2,500 supporters according to a French report.
Reputable outlet L’Equipe gave details of the Brittany travelling for the 8pm kick-off inside Paradise. They say that the travelling numbers are up dramatically from Rennes’ other two away games at Lazio (380) and Cluj (500).
The paper also says that Rennes fans had been advised to meet at Merchant City from 4pm before walking into the ground. Finally, it details that the match will be sold out – but for the section closed by the club earlier in the week.
Celtic Park will have been attractive for Rennes fans
The news is further evidence of the glamour which Celtic Park still holds in the European game. The travelling distance from Rennes to Rome is similar to a journey from Rennes to Glasgow. Yet around six times more fans fancy Celtic Park, despite their team already being out of the running.
The atmosphere is undoubtedly one of the big draws while the perceived friendship between the two clubs is also likely to have helped. In our first meeting with the Ligue 1 side, back in 2011, they unveiled a “Celtic people against racism” banner that was well received by the Hoops support.
While there’s no official link between the clubs, or anything like that, there is still a mutual respect and appreciation between the two sets of supporters.
But, make no mistake about it, the big Rennes support tonight will make things a bit more interesting. With our most vocal fans missing the pressure will be on the rest of the stadium to up their game. It should be a cracker.