Celtic’s Champions League qualifying path settled with Danish denouement

Celtic are confirmed to be seeded for the first two Champions League qualifying rounds they will bid to be involved in following the conclusion of Danish league on Monday afternoon.

Celtic's James Forrest in action against Bayern Munich in the Champions League in October 2017, the 2017-18 the last season the club featured in the competition's group stages. (Photo by Rob Casey/SNS Group).

They would have been pushed out of the seeds for the third qualifying phase had results not gone in their favour across the final slew of matches in Denmark’s top flight. Brondby, FC Midtjylland and Copenhagen were separated at the top of the table only by three points going into them. Second place from that set-up gains entry into Celtic’s non-champions path in Europe’s premier tournament. Had Copenhagen jumped above FC Midtjylland to take that slot, because they have a higher co-efficient than Celtic they would have replaced previous Scottish foes as the lowest seeds at that stage. As it transpired, while Brondby claimed the title, FC Midtylland won and Copenhagen lost to miss out on a tilt at the Champions League.

All teams have now been confirmed for the three rounds that Celtic will require to negotiate to earn a group stage berth in the competition for the first time in four seasons. Celtic begin their campaign at the second Champions League qualifying round. As seeds at this juncture, they could draw Sparta Prague, Rapid Vienna or FC Midtylland. If the Glasgow club come through these ties - the first leg of which is scheduled to be played on July 20/21 with the return the following midweek - the fact they would then continue to be seeded would allow them to avoid fellow seeds Shakhtar Donetsk, Benfica and Monaco. The possibles for them in this stage would be PSV Eindhoven, Galatasaray, Spartak Moscow and Genk.

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In the event of further progressing, Celtic would not be seeded for the four team play-off round - in common with Monaco, assuming the seedings pan out. It would be either Donetsk or Benfica that would block their path to the group stages in that scenario. If Celtic are knocked out at their second round entry point, they drop into the Europa League third round. A loss there would force a Conference League play-off tie. Were they to make it to the third round of the Champions League qualifiers, failure at that stage places them straight into the Europa League group stage.

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