Celtic are already into the round of 32 and will be looking to seal first place in Group E against eliminated Rennes.
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Celtic host Rennes in Glasgow having already qualified for the round of 32 thanks to a dramatic 2-1 win at Lazio on Matchday 4, when the French side's second successive 0-1 defeat by CFR Cluj confirmed their Group E elimination. Celtic will clinch first place if they win and CFR simultaneously fall to defeat in Rome.
• A 95th-minute goal from substitute Olivier Ntcham at the Stadio Olimpico not only gave Celtic their first ever win in Italy but also completed the double over Lazio and clinched their place in the knockout phase. The only points dropped by the Hoops so far came on the opening night in a 1-1 draw away to Rennes, who have lost all three subsequent Group E fixtures.
• When Celtic met Rennes in the 2011/12 UEFA Europa League group stage, they also drew the first game 1-1 in Brittany, before prevailing 3-1 at Celtic Park – though neither club made it through to the next round from a group topped by eventual winners Atlético Madrid.
• Celtic have won just five of their 17 UEFA matches against French clubs, their eight home games producing four wins and four losses. They fell to their heaviest ever European defeats both home and away when Paris Saint-Germain overran them 5-0 in Glasgow and 7-1 at the Parc des Princes on Matchdays 1 and 5 respectively of the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League – their most recent outings against Ligue 1 opposition before this season.
• Rennes have yet to win any of their five games against Scottish clubs, having also drawn at home (1-1) and lost away (0-1) against Rangers in the first round of the 1971/72 European Cup Winners' Cup – a competition their conquerors went on to win.
• Celtic won the domestic treble of Premiership, Scottish Cup and League Cup for an unprecedented third successive season in 2018/19, but in Europe they missed out on the UEFA Champions League group stage and lost five matches out of eight in the UEFA Europa League, including both round of 32 encounters against Valencia (0-2 h, 0-1 a).
• This term Celtic again failed to negotiate the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round, losing to CFR (1-1 a, 3-4 h), but a comprehensive play-off win against 2018 Swedish champions AIK (2-0 h, 4-1 a) enabled them to reach the UEFA Europa League group stage for the sixth time. Three of their six participations at this juncture have now been successful, but they have yet to progress beyond the round of 32.
• Group wins this season at Celtic Park against CFR (2-0) and Lazio (2-1) mean the Glasgow giants have won more home matches than they have lost in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final (W9 D4 L7). They have won five of their six European home games this season.
• Rennes earned their second successive direct qualification to the UEFA Europa League group stage by defeating holders Paris Saint-Germain on penalties in a dramatic 2018/19 French Cup final. They also reached the UEFA Europa League round of 16 last term, finishing second in their group with nine points and knocking out Real Betis before succumbing 4-3 on aggregate to eventual runners-up Arsenal (3-1 h, 0-3 a).
• The Brittany club are in their third UEFA Europa League group stage, the first of their campaigns in 2011/12 having ended unsuccessfully after three home draws and three away defeats. Rennes also participated twice in the UEFA Cup group stage, in 2005/06 and 2007/08, but were winless in those too (D2 L6).
• Rennes were beaten in their first nine away fixtures in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League group stages, but that sequence ended on Matchday 5 last season with a win at Jablonec (1-0) that was followed by another at Betis (3-1) before their decisive round of 16 second-leg reverse at Arsenal and this season's losses at Lazio (1-2) and CFR.
Links and trivia
• Celtic have three Frenchmen in their squad: Ntcham, Christopher Jullien and Odsonne Édouard.
• Ntcham and Rennes defender Romain Del Castillo were team-mates in the France squad that reached the semi-finals of this year's UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
• Celtic are through to the final of the Scottish League Cup on 8 December at Hampden, where they will face Rangers, with whom they are currently level on points at the top of the Premiership table. The Hoops are bidding to lift the League Cup for a fourth successive year and the 19th time in all.
• Pépé Bonet, who replaced red-carded Edouard Mendy in the Matchday 3 defeat at home to CFR, became the youngest goalkeeper ever to appear in the UEFA Europa League, group stage to final, aged 16 years and 253 days – and the fifth youngest player overall.
• Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths' next European appearance will be his 50th.
• Having just left Hibernian, former Northern Ireland international Neil Lennon returned for a second spell as Celtic manager in February 2019 following Brendan Rodgers' mid-season move to Leicester City, and duly sealed the club's 'treble treble' of domestic trophies. He had previously served the Glasgow club as player (2000–07) and manager (2010–14), capturing 16 trophies during those spells, though it was at Leicester, where he won two League Cups under his compatriot Martin O'Neill, that he first made his mark as an industrious and effective midfield anchorman.
• Handed the coaching reins at Rennes on an interim basis in December 2018, reserve team boss Julien Stéphan made such a positive impact that he was soon handed an 18-month deal. In the spring of 2019 the Rennes native not only led the Brittany club into the UEFA Europa League round of 16 but also to a sensational Coupe de France final victory on penalties against Paris Saint-Germain. He is the son of Guy Stéphan, the assistant coach to Didier Deschamps of reigning world champions France.