Celtic kick start their Europa League group campaign on Thursday, with a tough trip to France to face Rennes.

The Hoops are in Europe’s second tier competition for the second consecutive year after failing to qualify for the Champions League following defeat from CFR Cluj, who along with Lazio, complete Group E.

However, Neil Lennon’s men comprehensively put aside Swedish outfit AIK to secure European football till Christmas.

Thursday’s opponent, Rennes, defeated PSG on penalties in the French Cup final last season to earn direct qualification to the competition.

Like Celtic, the French side reached the knockout phase of last year’s campaign, but managed to go one better than the Hoops by reaching the round of 16.

Both clubs have started their season strongly, with the hosts second in Ligue 1 with three wins, including an impressive victory over Paris Saint-Germain meanwhile, Celtic have maximum points in the league with five wins from five.

A positive for the Hoops is that star striker M’Baye Niang is a doubt for the match after picking up a knee injury, with his availability not being confirmed until the last minute.

The home side have talent all over the park and Thursday’s contest will be a difficult one for Neil Lennon’s men, who will need to put in one of their best performances under the Northern Irishman in order to get a positive result.

We take a look at where those key battles could take place.