Brendan Rodgers’ side began their pre-season with a trip to Austria before returning home to prepare for their Champions League campaign

Scottish Premiership champions Celtic will be looking to defend their domestic crown this season, having excelled under new manager Brendan Rodgers last season.

Rodgers’ first campaign in charge of the Bhoys was historic for the Glasgow club, seeing them win the domestic treble for the fourth time in history and finish their domestic season without losing a match.

‘Real Madrid could move for Rodgers’

With the Scottish season ending on May 27 after the Scottish Cup Final, the squad reported back for training on June 19, meaning many players had just three weeks’ holidays between the end of last season and the start of pre-season.

Celtic have strengthened their squad as they look to lift a seventh successive Scottish Premiership title, bringing in Republic of Ireland international Jonny Hayes, as well as young midfielders Kundai Benyu and Olivier Ntcham.

Here is your complete guide to the Hoops’ pre-season schedule.


CELTIC PRE-SEASON FIXTURES


Date Opponent Time (local/BST) Venue
Jun 28 BW Linz (1-0) 17:30 / 18:30 Rohrbach
Jul 1 Rapid Vienna (1-1) 16:00 / 17:00 Amstetten
Jul 4 Slavia Prague (0-0) 17:00 / 18:00 Eden Arena
Jul 8 Shamrock Rovers (9-0) 15:00 Tallaght Stadium
Jul 14 Linfield 17:00 Windsor Park
Jul 15 Lyon 15:00 Celtic Park
Jul 19 Linfield 19:45 Celtic Park
Jul 29 Sunderland 15:00 Stadium of Light

Celtic kicked off their pre-season campaign just a month after ending their 2016-17 season, defeating BW Linz as they based themselves in Austria for their early friendly fixtures.

Friendlies with Rapid Vienna and Czech champions Slavia Prague followed, as well as a resounding 9-0 victory over a second-string Shamrock Rovers, helping build the Hoops’ fitness before proper competitive games with Linfield in the Champions League second qualifying round.

The first leg in Belfast was due to take place on July 12, but was rescheduled for July 14 at Windsor Park to avoid any conflict that could arise due to meeting on the Twelfth (or Orangeman’s Day as it’s also known). As well as that, Celtic refused to take their allocation of away tickets for the fixture due to concerns for supporter safety.

The second leg in Glasgow will go ahead as initially scheduled on July 19, while they also host a friendly with Ligue 1 side Lyon at Celtic Park and a short away trip to Sunderland.

Should Celtic progress past Linfield, they will play their third qualifying round games on July 25-26 and August 1-2.


WHEN DOES THE SEASON START?


Brendan Rodgers Celtic Champions League

The 2017-18 Scottish Premiership begins on August 5 against Hearts, who coincidentally were the team the Bhoys defeated in the final league game of last season. They follow that fixture with a Glasgow derby clash at Partick Thistle on August 11.

Celtic are also due to kick off their Scottish League Cup campaign on August 8 after being automatically put through to the second round thanks to their participation in the Champions League.

Guide to the Scottish League Cup

A trip to Kilmarnock and a home game against St Johnstone also take place in a busy August for Rodgers’ side. The first Old Firm derby of the season is scheduled for September 23 at Ibrox, with another short trip across Glasgow to the home of their rivals on March 10.

Like last season, there will be a mid-winter break in the Scottish Premiership, meaning Celtic will play no league games between the second league clash with Rangers on December 30 and an away fixture with Partick Thistle on January 24.