The draw for the Europa League play-off draw was made on Friday lunchtime, and it was a fairly decent one from Celtic’s point of view.
Firstly of course, the Hoops must get by Riga FC in the third qualifying round. Should Celtic do that, then Neil Lennon’s side will face either Sarajevo or Buducnost Podgorica in the play-off round.
Full fixture, date and venue TBC 🗓️ pic.twitter.com/QqGWsEMeLj
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) September 18, 2020
Now Celtic won’t be taking anything for granted, especially after the Ferencvaros result earlier this season. However, the Hoops really should be good enough to qualify for the group stages of the Europa League for the third season in a row.
That might not be where Celtic want to be, but for the moment it is the competition that is probably the club’s level in Europe.
Manager won’t be thinking about play-off yet
Neil Lennon won’t be thinking about the play-off game yet. He will be thinking only of next week’s game against Riga. However, he will know that the Hoops have a more than decent chance of reach the group stage.
Some people might consider it a disadvantage that Celtic are going to be away in their potential next two European ties. Whilst for travel’s sake the Hoops would want to be at home, it can’t be forgotten that some of Celtic’s worst European exits have come at Celtic Park.
When you consider how well the Hoops performed at times in the Europa League last season, that is an incentive to make it to the group stages. The wins over Lazio were two of the highlights of the season.
Acceptance that draw is a kind one
Whilst Neil Lennon won’t be thinking about the group stage as yet, some Celtic fans on social media are. There seems to be an acceptance that draw has been a kind one.
One fan went as far as to say that the draw was ‘easy stuff’. That is probably being just a bit overconfident. Another fan on social media suggested that the draw ‘could have been a hell of a lot harder’. That statement is very true.
One fan also sent a message to the club that there is ‘no excuse’ not to reach the group stages. You would imagine that is something that the club are well-aware of. Going out of Europe twice in one season in the qualifying rounds would not be tolerated.
Here are some of the best reactions from Celtic fans on social media to the play-off draw:
Group stage, no excuse. And we beat Sarajevo last term.
— TD (@Grandoldduke93) September 18, 2020
Unless there is a marked change in tactics, organisation and team selection Celtic will struggle against any European opposition.
— CwispyCwunch (@Richard_McKay_) September 18, 2020
— Docteur Johnes #eFootballPES2021 (@DJones9111) September 18, 2020
Two very winnable games!
— El Captain (@elcaptainkp) September 18, 2020
Happy with that, could’ve been a hell of a lot harder
— Jamie🏴🇮🇪 (@jamiecfc01) September 18, 2020
Could be worse tbf
— Ben Edwards (@edwardsben01) September 18, 2020
— Shay (@shaypdm) September 18, 2020