Celtic will face either Sarajevo or Buducnost Podgorica in the final round of Europa League qualifying – if we can overcame Riga FC.

Neil Lennon’s men are targeting Europa League group stage football for the third consecutive season, and now know exactly what stands in their way.

The potential clash will be played in either Bosnia or Montenegro on Thursday 1st October.

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Before they can look ahead to that tie, the Hoops must overcome the Latvian champions who finally saw off San Marino’s Tre Fiori on Friday morning.

Celtic's name picked out of the hat

Celtic’s name picked out of the hat / (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

What do we know about the teams?

We know a fair bit about FK Sarajevo, having faced them in the Champions League first qualifying round last season.

We defeated them 5-2 on aggregate, with an impressive 3-1 win in Bosnia putting us in firm control at the halfway stage.

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The Bosnians then entered the Europa League before being knocked out 2-1 by BATE Borisov over two legs.

This season, they defeated Connah’s Quay Nomads 2-0 in Wales before being eliminated by Dynamo Brest – losing 2-1 in Belarus.

Celtic wouldn't have to deal with Sarajevo's fans

Celtic wouldn’t have to deal with Sarajevo’s fans / (Photo by Samir Yordamovic/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Their opponents next week – Buducnost Podgorica – won the Montenegrin league by 18 points last season, but sit in 5th this campaign – with two wins and two losses from their first four games.

 

They were knocked out of the Champions League at the first qualifying round by Ludogorets, but defeated Astana 1-0 away from home last night.

Their game in Sarajevo is scheduled for next Thursday at 7pm Scottish time.

It’s hard to tell which of the sides will advance. They look pretty evenly matched from a far.

But we should really have enough to overcome either – even away from home.

The UEFA website suggests that fans won’t be permitted at any qualifiers, so our potential away trips should be less hostile than would normally be the case.

So Latvia and then Bosnia/Montenegro. Win those two and we’re back in the Europa League.

In other news, James Forrest reckons Celtic are starting to improve

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