Rumour Mill: Celtic to be in Champions League Pot 3 | Rangers kids’ Old Firm baptism | Diving charge for Schalk

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers could get a Champions League lift. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers could get a Champions League lift. Picture: Rob Casey/SNS
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Celtic could get a Champions League boost next season, Rangers youngsters David Bates and Myles Beerman have been backed for the cup semi-final and Ross County’s diving striker is facing punishment from the SFA.

Celtic heading for Pot 3 in Champions League

Celtic could be set to be placed in Pot 3 in the group stage of next season’s Champions League - if they can negotiate the three rounds of qualifying. It would mean an easier draw for the Scottish champions who were placed in the proverbial ‘Group of Death’ this season with Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach. Celtic haven’t been seeded higher than Pot 4 since Gordon Strachan’s side reached the group stage in season 2008-09. Celtic’s co-efficient points total is currently higher than Monchengladbach’s was last season when the German side were the lowest seeds in Pot 3. (Daily Record)

Rangers boss backs young defenders for Old Firm cup semi

Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha says he would have no hesitation in pitching in young defenders David Bates and Myles Beerman against Celtic on Sunday. The pair have started have started the last three league games and one or both are in line to play again in the Scottish Cup semi-final if Clint Hill remains sidelined with injury. Caixinha has been impressed so far by Bates and Beerman and believes they can adapt to the torrid atmosphere of an Old Firm clash.

Ross County striker Alex Schalk to be charged with diving

Ross Country striker Alex Schalk is set to be charged by the SFA today over the dive which won a penalty against Celtic. The Dutchman faces being cited for simulation by the compliance officer and will be offered a two-match ban. Schalk went down in the box despite no contact from Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko, winning a late penalty in Sunday’s 2-2 draw in Dingwall. (Daily Record)

Celtic would finish in lower half of EPL

Former Rangers manager Alex McLeish believes Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic would finish in the bottom half of the Premier League if they were playing in England. McLeish believes they are a “tremendous side” in Scotland but might struggle to make an impact south of the border. He also rates them below the Celtic treble-winning side of 2001 and his own Rangers treble winners of 2003. (The Sun)

Neil McCann admits: I’m a risky appointment

New Dundee interim manager Neil McCann admits his appointment is a risk. The former Scotland winger has never managed before but points out he had never done live television before working for Sky Sports. He says has no fear about taking the job at Dens Park as he seeks to guide the club away from the play-off position at the bottom of the Premiership. (The Scotsman) Full story

Hearts full-back eyes summer exit

Hearts full-back Faycal Rherras is eyeing a summer exit from Tynecastle after falling out of favour under Ian Cathro. The Moroccan international was a regular under previous boss Robbie Neilson but has not played since February. Rherras is concerned that the lack of game time could impact on his cap career. Hearts are unlikely to stand in his way if he can find another club. (Edinburgh Evening News) Full story

St Johnstone want Danny Swanson to stay

St Johnstone manager Tommy Wright is desperate to get Danny Swanson tied up on a new deal. The creative midfielder was suspended by Saints after his fight with team-mate Richard Foster during the match with Hamilton. But Wright believes that matter has been dealt with and is now keen to sit down with the player’s agent. Swanson is out of contract at the end of the season but Wright claims he wants to stay in Perth. (Various)

Inverness defender to miss rest of relegation battle

Inverness defender Carl Tremarco could miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. The left-back lasted just 13 minutes of the defeat by Motherwell on Saturday and in unlikely to be involved for the foreseeable future. Inverness are five points adrift at the bottom of the Premiership with five games remaining. (Daily Express)

David Templeton at the double for Accies

David Templeton scored two goals in a minute for Hamilton’s under-20 side as he stepped up his comeback. The former Hearts and Rangers winger signed a short-term deal with Accies last month but has yet to play for the first team. His two goals helped the young Accies beat Dunfermline 4-1 away. (Various)