The best and worst Europa League scenarios for Celtic

By Hamish Carton

August 30, 2019

Celtic will find out their three Europa League group stage opponents when the draw is made in Monaco on Friday afternoon.

Neil Lennon’s men – who booked their place in the 48-team draw with a 6-1 win over AIK – will be seeded in the second of four pots. That’s the same as last year and means they could face 12 of the highest ranked teams in the competition, as well as sides from pots three and four.

We could find ourselves up against any of 35 teams. So let’s take a look at our dream and nightmare scenarios.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Dream – Basel, Celtic, Rosenborg, Dudelange

Neil Lennon and his squad would certainly fancy their chances of progression to the last 32 if this draw came out.

Each team in the top pot would fancy their chances against us but Basel are probably one of the weakest. The Swiss side exited Champions League qualification after a thumping 5-2 aggregate defeat to Austrian minnows LASK Linz.

They currently sit a point off the top of the league after five games but have a patchy home record.

(Photo by Photo Prestige/Soccrates/Getty Images)

Rosenborg would be great because we’d know exactly what we were getting ourselves into. The Norwegians may have made it a round further than us in Champions League qualifying but they’re still a relatively average side who we’d fancy our chances of getting points against.

Luxembourg outfit Dudelange aren’t the weakest side by co-efficient but they probably are one of the poorest left in the competition. They beat Nomme Kalju 4-1 in Europa League qualifying and also put out Shkendija and Ararat-Armenia.

Nightmare – Arsenal, Frankfurt, Trabzonspor

The toughest scenario for Celtic would probably be a cross-border clash against Arsenal. You kind of feel it’s written in the stars that Kieran Tierney is going to return to Glasgow. It would certainly be a tough watch to see him playing against us wearing another club’s colours.

(Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal were runners-up in last year’s competition and may look at the opportunity to go one better this season. The Europa League trophy means Champions League qualification nowadays, and that often offers clubs like Arsenal the best route into the biggest tournament of the lot.

Frankfurt were semi-finalists last season and only lost to the eventual winners Chelsea. They’re one of the top sides in Germany and would offer us a stiff test.

Finally, trips to Turkey are never easy. Especially against a Trabzonspor side who have already knocked out Sparta Prague and AEK Athens. That looks like the toughest pot four has to offer.