Confirmed: Every team Celtic can face in Europa League knockouts
After tonight’s Europa League fixtures we now know every team Celtic can face in the Round of 32 next year.
As we know, Neil Lennon’s team finished the group as winners and so are seeded for the next stage of the competition.
That means in the next round we can face one of the second-placed teams from the group stage of the Europa League, apart from Cluj and Rangers.
We could also come up against any of the four worst third-placed teams from the group stage of the Champions League.
The draw will be held this coming Monday 16th December at 12pm Celtic Park time. The two legs are due to be played on Thursday 20th and 27th February, with the first leg coming away from home.
The full list of potential opponents is:
- APOEL (Cyp)
- Bayer Leverkusen (Ger)
- Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukr)
- Olympiacos (Gre)
- Club Brugge (Bel)
- Copenhagen (Den)
- Eintracht Frankfurt (Ger)
- Getafe (Spa)
- Sporting (Por)
- AZ Alkmaar (Ned)
- Ludogorets (Bul)
- Wolfsburg (Ger)
- Roma (Ita)
- Wolves (Eng)
What should we make of that list?
Clearly there are difficult ties in amongst that lot. The four teams dropping down from the Champions League are likely to provide fierce opposition while others, such as Sporting and Getafe, qualified with 12 group points – just one less than Lennon’s team.
The players have made it clear they don’t want to end their journey in the competition in the next round, but to progress to the last 16 we’ll have to play with the intensity and quality of our matches against Lazio and Rennes.
Given our form over the last six games, we have absolutely nothing to fear. With the second leg also coming at home, we should have a fighting chance of doing the business in front of a sold-out and passionate Celtic Park.
If we manage to make it past one of this lot, future round draws are not seeded, so that’s when we could start to face some of the bigger and in form teams of the competition.
It’s also when country protection ends, meaning a tie against Steven Gerrard’s Rangers would even be on the cards.