As discussed earlier today we now have a confirmed calendar when it comes to 2020/21 Champions League qualifying, with Celtic now knowing they are definitely preparing for August fixtures.
That should coincide with the beginning of the Scottish Premiership season too, meaning Neil Lennon’s Bhoys won’t be caught short of fitness and will have plenty of time to prepare for competitive fixtures.
Any tie will be a one-off fixture either at Celtic Park or away from home, with no guarantee we’ll have the advantage of playing in Glasgow for a chance to make it through to the next round.
One thing we still don’t fully know is the list of potential opponents we could face in the first round of qualifying.
With many leagues around Europe still not completed, it’s impossible to determine what the exact groups of seeds and non-seeds will look like.
However, we do know that Celtic will be seeded and we do know some of the 34 teams that are taking their place in the competition at this early stage, either as champions of summer leagues in 2019 or champions from 2019/20 league action.
Celtic will be entering the draw alongside outfits such as Astana, Red Star Belgrade and Molde at this stage but thankfully we cannot draw any of them due to the seeding situation.
Who are some of the unseeded teams with lesser co-efficients we could face?
Well they exist close to home as well as further afield with Connah’s Quay Nomads of Wales a potential opponent after the curtailment of the Welsh Premier League as well as Riga FC of Latvia and KR Reykjavik of Iceland.
Other teams include Floriana of Malta, Europa from Gibraltar and KuPS of Finland. There’s even the potential of a trip to Belarus to face 2019 league champions Dynamo Brest.
Right now UEFA have yet to confirm any regional sorting when it comes to the draw, though that has happened in the past.
Ultimately it will be a very winnable encounter whoever we face but with home or away advantage essentially now a lottery, Neil Lennon’s team will have to work hard to perform on the night to book a place in the second qualifying round.