Celtic defender Stephen Welsh believes that the biggest difference between other pre-seasons and this one has been that this time around the Bhoys have been playing against Champions League quality sides.

The Hoops were invited to the Veolia Trophy hosted by French outfit Lyon, where they played both the hosts and Nice, following which they even played another match against Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain.  


Though they failed to win even a match over the course of that short tour, Welsh believes that it was an important experience for his side as they were coming up against a higher level of opposition than would usually be the case in pre-season.

“This was the third pre-season I’ve been on with the first-team and the biggest difference this year has been the level of opposition we’ve played”, Welsh told Celtic View.

“Usually we’ll play a few local, lower-level teams in Austria but this summer we were facing Champions League sides like Lyon and PSG.

“That’s what we need going into this season.

"They were preparing for Champions League games and cup games so they were around the same stage of pre-season as us."

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The Celtic talent feels that the Bhoys acquitted themselves well and the younger players involved came out with credit.

"I felt we did okay in the games, especially younger boys like myself.

"I thought everyone handled it really well."

PSG and Lyon are set to meet each other in the Coupe de la Ligue final on Friday, with both sides are also still involved in the Champions League.