Helsingborgs v Celtic preview
Lennon's men looking for a positive result on Swedish soil
Last Updated: 21/08/12 11:28am
Neil Lennon: Has Celtic two games away from the Champions League group stage
Celtic travel to Helsingborgs on Tuesday looking to take another positive step towards the group stage of the UEFA Champions League.
A two-legged play-off tie against Swedish opposition is all that stands between the Bhoys and the riches on offer at the business end of Europe's premier club competition.
Neil Lennon's side made light work of HJK Helsinki at the third qualifying round stage, with a 4-1 aggregate victory offering a timely continental boost.
Celtic will be hoping to send another Scandinavian side packing in the form of Helsingborgs, with a first outing in the group stage since 2008/09 at stake.
"I don't know if I would say these two matches will define our season, but they are certainly significant games, and the players are very motivated," said Lennon.
Helsingborgs, a side strongly linked to Celtic through their respective ties to legendary frontman Henrik Larsson, are looking to end their own barren spell in Europe.
Their last run of note came in the 2007/08 UEFA Cup, while their only involvement in the group stage of the Champions League came on the back of a shock victory over Inter Milan in 2000/01.
The Swedish outfit saw off Slask Wroclaw in the last round this season, with a convincing 6-1 aggregate win suggesting they are in even better shape than Celtic.
Helsingborgs are, however, prepared to admit that the reigning Scottish Premier League champions are the favourites to make it through.
The hosts have a number of injury concerns to contend with, with coach Age Hareide expected to shuffle his pack.
Mattias Lindstrom misses out with a thigh complaint, while goalkeeper Par Hansson is struggling with tonsillitis.
Loret Sadiku (groin), Erik Wahlstedt (ankle), Erik Edman (calf) and Erlend Hanstveit (sciatica) are all doubtful.
Celtic have injury troubles of their own, though, with 10 players nursing knocks.
Anthony Stokes, Scott Brown and James Forrest are among those currently on the sidelines.
Lennon may have been looking to fresh things up anyway, with an uninspiring 1-1 draw with Ross County on Saturday posing plenty of questions.