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Lennon wants to qualify in style

Celtic have already secured their place in the knockout stages of the Europa League but Neil Lennon has challenged his side to finish top of Group E.

Celtic have collected 10 points from their opening four games in this season's group stage and they secured their place in the last 32 of Europe's secondary competition with two games to spare thanks to their victory in Rome against Lazio last time out.

The Bhoys will now take on Rennes at Parkhead on Thursday before rounding off their group campaign against Cluj in Romania next month.

A victory over Rennes, coupled with Cluj losing to Lazio, would wrap up top spot for Celtic with a game to spare and Lennon has laid down the challenge to his players to finish first in the group and seal what is likely to be an easier draw for the knockout stages.

"I don't want them to come off it at the minute, I want them to stay on the edge and on the level they have been playing at for the last six to eight weeks. We go into the game with confidence but no complacency," Lennon told reporters.

"It would be great if we could top 10 points and top the group for the first time in the last 20 years of European football.

"That would be another milestone for this group and it's a big incentive. It's a glamour game."

Rennes are the only side to have taken points off Celtic in this season's group stage, with the two teams having played out a 1-1 draw in France on Matchday One, and Lennon is certainly not underestimating the Ligue 1 team ahead of Thursday's meeting in Glasgow.

"Rennes are dangerous, have good pace in the team and counter-attack well, and if they come and play with a freedom, they could be in for a difficult night," Lennon added.

"If we can win the group it may give you a favourable draw."

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