How Celtic could benefit from Slavia Prague's exit from Europe

By John Reid

December 11, 2019

It is not often that Celtic fans would take notice of a Slavia Prague result. But their exit from Europe – confirmed after their 2-1 loss to Borussia Dortmund, could benefit the Hoops in the next few seasons.

As revealed by ESPN FC editor Dale Johnson on Twitter, both Celtic and Rangers could benefit from Prague’s exit, as two wins for the Scottish sides in their remaining Europa League games will put Scotland above the Czech Republic in the UEFA coefficient table.

Potential good news in the future

(Photo by Harold Cunningham/Getty Images)

The knock-on effect of that would be that Scotland get two teams in the Champions League from 2021-22, with the league champions and runners up entering the qualification process from the second round.

That will be a remarkable turnaround in the fortunes of Scottish football, which looked at a low ebb aside from Celtic a few years ago.

However, there is no guarantee that either Celtic or Rangers will win their last group stage game. Rangers will take on a Young Boys side they already lost to in Europe this season.

Hoops boss won’t take the strongest side to Cluj

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Celtic travel to Cluj with qualification for the last 32 already wrapped up, and the Hoops have also won Group E. Therefore, you have to imagine that Neil Lennon won’t be taking his strongest team to Romania.

That could make it difficult for the Hoops to get the win which would go a long way towards ensuring that Scotland has two teams in the Champions League in the future.

Neil Lennon will no doubt be aware of the situation involving the Champions League. However, he will be only focused on the game against Cluj, that is what will take prescience.

So it should, as Celtic have to do what is right for the club, never mind what is right for Scottish football. That might mean that Celtic don’t end up winning on Thursday, if the Hoops boss picks a team that sees many first-team regulars not feature.

That is not Celtic’s problem though, and the Hoops boss will continue to do what he thinks is right for the club.