Celtic could face Cluj or Maccabi Tel Aviv in Champions League

By Hamish Carton

July 22, 2019

Celtic have a firmer idea of what they will have to do to make the Champions League group stage, following Monday’s draw.

UEFA paired the winner of Celtic vs Nomme Kalju against either Cluj or Maccabi Tel Aviv in the third round of qualifying.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The Romanian and Israeli outfit will do battle over the next two midweeks with Cluj having the home advantage first. The tie looks very tight from the outset with Maccabi perhaps the slight favourites.

(Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)

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Celtic fans will just be pleased that their team have avoided the likes of PAOK and Red Star Belgrade in the third round draw.

And their moods could be further boosted given the fact that both sides may struggle to even make it to the Playoff round. Greek champions PAOK have been given a brutal draw – against last season’s semi-finalists Ajax.

(MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images)

Red Star, meanwhile, will likely have to see of Helsinki and Copenhagen if they are to make it to the final round of qualifying.

Celtic fans will be hoping that both are knocked out over the next four weeks – so that our potential route is made easier.

The big match-ups mean that there are likely to be places in the Playoff round for some smaller sides. The likes of Qarabag, Maribor and Dinamo Zagreb will all fancy their chances of making it to the fourth qualifier – and they could be potential opponents for Celtic if we make it that far.

Quite simply, the draw couldn’t have gone much better for Neil Lennon’s men. Now they must do themselves justice on the pitch.

If Celtic lose their tie against Nomme Kalju, they will drop into the Europa League third qualifying round and play KF Shkendija or Dudelange