Celtic & Rangers Champions League: The dream and nightmare group scenarios as clubs set for €14.8m payment

Celtic and Rangers will discover their Champions League group stage opponents later today when the draw takes place in Istanbul.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men defeated PSV 1-0 in Eindhoven on Wednesday night to complete a 3-2 aggregate victory to reach the group stage for the first time since 2010, joining their city rivals who qualified automatically.

The last time Scotland had two representatives in the group stage of UEFA’s premier club competition was back in 2007/08.

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Both are set to receive huge financial rewards, starting with a fee of around €14.8million for group stage participation. Last season it was paid to clubs at the beginning of September.

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There is also a very good chance Europe’s elite will be coming to Glasgow in the coming months.

Celtic and Rangers are both in Pot 4 of the draw. The latter had a chance of sneaking into Pot 3 but it would have involved Benfica being knocked out of qualifying, which they weren’t.

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Both clubs will have the same possible opponents from Pot 1, 2 and 3.

In Pot 1 are: Real Madrid, Eintracht Frankfurt, Manchester City, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Paris Saint-Germain, FC Porto, Ajax.

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Celtic and Rangers will find out their Champions League group stage opponents on Thursday afternoon. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)

Pot 2 is made up of: Liverpool, Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, RB Leipzig, Tottenham.

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The eight sides which make up Pot 3: Borussia Dortmund, FC Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Napoli, Benfica, Sporting CP, Bayer Leverkusen.

There will be those fans who may want a proper glamour group, others the easiest group and then some who would like a balance of a European giant but still the possibility to finish second.

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Going by UEFA’s five-year coefficient the ‘most difficult’ draw is:

German champions Bayern Munich, English giants Liverpool and either Red Bull Salzburg or Shakhtar Donetsk.

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Realistically, the most difficult draw would be Real Madrid or Bayern Munich, Liverpool and Inter Milan.

On the flip side, going by UEFA’s coefficient, the ‘easiest’ group would be:

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Italian champions AC Milan, Tottenham Hotspur and Bayer Leverkusen.

However, Celtic and Rangers would likely prefer Eintracht Frankfurt, Sevilla and Sporting CP.

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Rangers have proven what Scottish clubs can be capable of on the European stage. With a bit of luck, both teams could be looking at progress to the last 16 which would be a huge feat.

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