When can Celtic play Rangers in the Europa League this season?

By John McGinley

December 12, 2019

After Celtic’s glorious march to the Europa League knockout round as group winners, Steven Gerrard’s Rangers also progressed at Ibrox tonight.

Their draw against Swiss side Young Boys, coupled with Porto’s win, means they are now unseeded for the Round of 32.

Despite that status they cannot play the Scottish champions quite yet, with country protection in place for the next stage of the competition.

However, if you’re wondering if we can play the first-ever European derby between the sides this season then the answer is – yes!

Seeding and same-country rules go out of the window from the last 16 onwards, so if both clubs manage to represent Scottish football well in February, then there could be a blockbuster match in the offing.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Would that be something to savour?

Given our two wins over the club already this season, we might even see that as one of the more favourable draws at that stage of the competition. There will likely be some very good, elite teams left.

The pressure would be quite ridiculous though, with both sets of supporters priding themselves on progression in European competition.

If you think a cup final derby is a big occasion, just think how much interest it would generate on a continental scale.

Regardless, it’s not something to worry about, more of a curiosity of our entrance into the knockout rounds.

Celtic have absolutely nothing to fear from any side in this competition, nevermind the Ibrox side.