Celtic further boosted Scotland’s improving coefficient total with their 1-1 draw in Rennes on Thursday night.
Neil Lennon’s men earned one point for the impressive result, which coupled with Rangers’ 2 points for beating Feyenoord, got Scotland a total of 0.75 overall points on a good evening.
That meant that the country were the first to cross the 5 point barrier for season 2019/2020 – albeit having played far more games than the more elite nations.
Scotland are the top ranked country in Europe so far this season but still sit 19th in the overall standings, curated over the past five years. But we’re closing in on the likes of Serbia and Croatia ahead of us, as the reliable UEFA Calculator shows.
Luxembourg is up to 35th after Dudelange managed to do win a thriller against APOEL. Rangers pull their weight for Scotland, Celtic kinda do. pic.twitter.com/9EI6UVrBbB
— UEFA Calculator (@UEFACalculator) September 19, 2019
When will Celtic get to play fewer qualifiers?
The big question on everyone’s lips in when will we start to see a benefit from this improvement in terms of qualification.
Many people talk of the envy Celtic have seeing the likes of Valencia and Inter Milan qualifying for the Champions League after finishing fourth in their respective leagues. But it is the likes of Genk and Red Bull Salzburg who should frustrate most.
Both parachuted straight into the group stage of the tournament this season after winning their respective leagues last year. Neither had to play a single qualifier – much to the frustration of Celtic.
Even the likes of Slavia Prague and Dinamo Zagreb who made the competition, only had to play a fraction of the qualifiers Celtic faced.
But if Neil Lennon’s men, and our Ibrox rivals, can both keep doing well in Europe then we could be heading for easier summers. If Scotland can maintain their current position of 19th then the Champions will only play three rounds of qualifiers next season. Even better, if we can somehow navigate our way up to 15th then it will just be the two rounds.
The latter is a tough ask but achievable if both Glasgow sides can make it to the knockout rounds of the competition.