The chances for revenge and glamour ties Celtic could face in Europa Conference League
Obviously, the Celtic supporters are going to be absolutely gutted tonight, even though we’ve still got the Europa Conference League to look forward to.
Against Bayer Leverkusen, Celtic were absolutely excellent. For most of the game, it looked like it would’ve been a classic win, the first on German soil for the Bhoys.
Sadly, though, it didn’t work out that way. But if you think there are going to be no glamour ties coming our way despite the drop in competition, you’re wrong.
In the inaugural edition of the competition, there are some big teams still in contention. Meanwhile, there are plenty of familiar European foes to get some revenge on in the 21-22 season.
So, let’s take a look at who Celtic could potentially face.
1970 European Cup foes, a battle in London and familiar Danes; who Celtic could face in the Europa Conference League
For an inaugural competition, the standard is actually very high [UEFA]. At the time of writing, AZ Alkmaar, Genk and Rennes are through to the knock-out round. AZ Alkmaar, we put into the Europa Conference League, beating them over two legs.
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Rennes are familiar; we took them on most recently in 19-20. We won one game, and drew the other.
Feyenoord, who took us on the 1970 European Cup Final, are through to the next round with 11 points from their group.
FC Basel should be in the next stage. It could be a return home for Swiss striker Albian Ajeti, who made his name at the club. Basel knocked us out of the Champions League, starting a UEFA Cup run that took us to Seville.
Tottenham Hotspur, though, would be the most tantalising tie of all. Ange Postecoglou pitting his wits against Antonio Conte would be something special. Meanwhile, Joe Hart left Spurs in the summer to come to Celtic. His former team-mate Cameron Carter-Vickers joined him later in the window, on a loan that could be made permanent.
There is still European fun to be had for Celtic supporters
Yes, tonight was gutting. There’s no way of getting around it. A colossal disappointment given how in control Celtic were, a cruel defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.
But there’s still European fun to be had. Some excellent away trips, top teams to potentially face. We’ve not even covered the likes of Roma, who are battling to get through their group.
Copenhagen, an annoyance to play but a lovely away trip, are just one of plenty of interesting teams Celtic could face.
The journey isn’t over. It’s just changed course. Celtic proved tonight they can go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the Europa League. Now we have a chance to make a dent in a competition we’ve never played in before.
So aye; tonight was gutting.
But the business continues after Christmas.