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9 facts you (probably) didn't know about Celtic's Champions League opponents

The name Shakhter Karagandy will be familiar to fans of St Patrick’s Athletic.

THE DRAW FOR the Champions League play-off round took place this morning, and Celtic were paired with Shakhter Karagandy – a side from Kazakhstan with whom most football fans on these shores will be unfamiliar.

Consequently, we’ve decided to gather together some facts on the Scottish side’s opponents so that you don’t have to…

  • The club were founded in 1958 and have been involved in the Kazakhstan Premier League since it was set up in early 1990s.
  • They only won their league for the first time in 2011, and repeated the feat last season.
  • Their sole triumph before then had been winning the Soviet First League in 1962.
  • They play their home matches in the Shakhtyor Stadium in Karagandy, which has a capacity of 19,000.
  • They were disqualified from the Kazakhstan Premier League in September 2008, along with their opponents FC Vostok, for being found guilty of playing a fixed match.
  • Their original ban of 60 months was changed to a nine-point deduction in October 2008.
  • In the second qualifying round this year, they overcame FC BATE Borisov, who have qualified for the Champions League in the previous two seasons. They also beat Albanian side KF Skenderbeu Korçe 5-3 on aggregate in Round 3.
  • St Patrick’s Athletic fans may recognise the name. They knocked the Kazakhs out of the Europa League in 2011, losing 2-1 away but beating them 2-0 at home.
  • They’ve never reached this stage before in the Champions League, having lost out in the 2nd Qualifying Round to FC Slovan Liberec last year. They’ve also never gone further than the 2nd Qualifying Round of the Europa League.

H/T Uefa.com, Ria.Ru.

Vs FC Bate Borisov


YouTube credit: Dars195

Vs St Patrick’s Athletic


YouTube credit: seidodge

Vs KF Skenderbeu Korçe


YouTube credit: FOOTball live

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Paul Fennessy

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