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Celtic to prepare for UCL tie in Berlin

Celtic will make their final preparations for their Champions League qualification tie this summer with a friendly in Germany against Union Berlin.

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Just a few days before the SPL champions face an as-yet-unknown opponent in the second round of qualifying for next season's competition, they will take on the Bundesliga II outfit in the German capital on July 12.

The friendly has been arranged in order to inaugurate the opening of a new main stand at the club's Die Alte Forsterei stadium, and it is hoped that Neil Lennon will field a strong side to give Celtic the best chance of reaching the group stage of a competition in which they reached the last-16 this season.

"Such an occasion has to be celebrated with a worthy opponent," Union general manager Nico Schafer told Berlin paper BZ. "I am more than delighted to have attracted an absolute top club. The atmosphere in the stadium will be incredible."

Union Berlin chief Dirk Zingler added: "This will be an unforgettable event and a thank you for everyone who has supported us over the years. We will have a stadium ready for the Bundesliga and can call it our own. Every Union fan can be proud of that. What we have dreamed of for years will become reality. That is our biggest home win."

The Union Berlin stadium had been re-built with the help of the club's fans over the past five years. Sat in the woods of south-Berlin suburb Kopenick, the ground has three standing terraces, with seats only on the main terrace.

Throughout Germany, "Eisern Union" have built their reputation for taking their stand against the commercialism of "modern football".


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