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Brendan Rodgers admits he's surprised by Red Imps victory

Celtic - Brendan Rodgers Press Conference

The Celtic boss did not expect to meet Lincoln Red Imps in the Champions League.

Celtic - Brendan Rodgers Press Conference

Quoted by The Glasgow Evening Times, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers has admitted that he is surprised to be facing Lincoln Red Imps in their Champions League qualifier.

The Gibraltar-based minnows booked a shock preliminary tie with Celtic after overturning a 1-0 first-leg deficit to beat Flora Tallin 2-0 last night.

New Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers after the press conference

The Hoops now gear up to face Lincoln in the first leg next Tuesday, which comes just two days after Rodgers's boys return to Glasgow following a two-week stay in Slovenia.

“I was surprised that Lincoln are through if I'm honest,” said Rodgers via The Glasgow Evening Times. “From our reports, the Estonians (Flora Tallin) were the better side in the first leg.

"Our only issue is that it gives us a day less. If we'd been playing in Estonia, we'd have been on Wednesday night.

"Now the game is Tuesday and that's a quick turnaround. But we will deal with it and look forward to it. I haven't been told anything about the venue. I believe it will be in Gibraltar."

Fulham's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring their third goal and completing his hat trick with Patrick Roberts (R)

Even if it does give Celtic less time to prepare, this tie should most definitely be a formality regardless.

The Bhoys have better players in every position of the pitch, whereas a number of Red Imps are semi-professional, with their captain Roy Chipolina employed as a customs officer.

The first leg might well see highly-rated French striker Moussa Dembele given a competitive debut. The former Fulham man is an excellent signing, and he, along with Leigh Griffiths - who scored 40 times last season - will be hoping to bag himself a goal or two against the minnows.

Celtic never reached the Champions League group stages under Ronny Deila's two-year reign, but two more ties will still need to be negotiated after their meetings with Lincoln if Rodgers wants to restore some pride to the club in this competition.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila

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