Champions League: Celtic may face Elfsborg

Neil Lennon's side will face either Elfsborg or Daugava Daugavpils should they progress past Cliftonville in their Champions League qualifying round tie. Picture: SNS

Neil Lennon's side will face either Elfsborg or Daugava Daugavpils should they progress past Cliftonville in their Champions League qualifying round tie. Picture: SNS

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Celtic will almost certainly face Swedish side Elfsborg in the third qualifying round of the Champions League following yesterday’s draw in Nyon.

While Neil Lennon’s side are in driving seat for a place in the next round after a convincing 3-0 first-leg win over Cliftonville, Elfsborg are in an even stronger position with a 7-1 advantage over Latvians Daugava Daugavpil from their first leg.

Meanwhile, Hibernian will meet Michael Laudrup’s Swansea City in the third qualifying round of the Europa League if they can overcome a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Malmo in the return leg of their second qualifying round tie at Easter Road next Thursday. Motherwell manager Stuart McCall has urged his players to follow St Johnstone’s lead and adopt a positive attitude when they begin their European campaign after his side were drawn against Russian side Kuban Krasnodar the third qualifying round.

Hoping to join them at that stage in qualifying are the Perth club, who claimed an impressive 1-0 first leg lead over Rosenborg in Norway on Thursday night. The winners of that tie face

either Belarusian side FC Minsk or Valetta FC, from Malta.

Motherwell face a tough challenge themselves against a side who finished fifth last season and who have been boosted by the arrival of former Liverpool and QPR striker Djibril Cisse this summer. McCall said yesterday: “It was fantastic last night, St Johnstone with a positive attitude and getting a great result. That’s what we’re going to have to have.

“First and foremost we have to go over to Russia and make sure we are still in the tie but hopefully with a lead.

“We’ve got to aim to progress into the next round. We will just be positive and do the best we can. If we can do our best and it gets us through, then all well and good.”

McCall’s knowledge of Kuban Krasnodar may be limited just now but the Fir Park boss expects to be fully up to speed on them by the time they meet.

He said: “We obviously don’t know a lot about them and they probably know even less about Motherwell. We know bits and bobs.”

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