Who are Celtic's Europa League opponents - Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis & Ferencvaros profiled

Celtic have been handed an interesting Europa League group stage draw. We cast an eye over their three opponents...

Jeremie Frimpong will be returning to Celtic with Leverkusen. (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)

Bayer Leverkusen

The Germans are experienced European campaigners. They have competed in one of the continent’s competitions in 11 of the last 12 seasons, yet they have still not won the Bundesliga. When they lost to Real Madrid in the Champions League final at Hampden Park they were the first team to reach that stage having never won a league title. They have tasted success in Europe, however, winning the Uefa Cup in 1988.

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Leverkusen finished sixth in last year’s Bundesliga and are under new management this campaign with Gerardo Seoane taking on after winning three consecutive Swiss Super League titles with Young Boys. He wants to play attractive football and possesses a side brimming with young stars and international experience. Celtic sold Jeremie Frimpong to the Germans in January, while they also have the likes of Patrick Schick, Lukáš Hrádecký, Charles Aranguiz and Lucas Alario.

Real Betis

Celtic return to Seville for the first time since the 2003 Uefa Cup final. However, it will be to Real Betis and their iconic Estadio Benito Villamarín which could make for a fantastic away trip for fans, travel permitting.

Los Verdiblancos finished sixth in La Liga last season and have drawn both league games so far this campaign. They have a big name in the dugout with former Real Madrid and Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini and they can be expected to line up in a 4-2-3-1 system with Nabil Fekir playing as a No.10 and Sergio Canales, a name many fans of Football Manager will be familiar with, in midfield. They still have one of Spain’s biggest characters in Joaquin playing for them at the age of 40.


The Hungarian champions recorded an impressive result in qualiFying for the continent’s premier competition when they knocked out Slavia Prague. However, they dropped into the Europa League after losing to Young Boys.

Ferencvaros are flexible in formation and have a mix of homegrown players and impressive imports, such as Ryan Mmaee, Franck Boli, Robert Mak and Oleksandr Zubkov.

Like Leverkusen they are under new management in for Borussia Dortmund boss Peter Stoger

The 32-time Hungarian champions play in the impressive Groupama Aréna which opened seven years ago.

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