How Rangers reach Champions League group stage and potential opponents revealed

The path Rangers will have to navigate to reach the Champions League group stage has become clearer.

If Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s men had won the Europa League final they would have been guaranteed group stage football and a spot as a Pot 1 team alongside the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, AC Milan and Bayern Munich.

Instead, as Scottish Premiership runners-up, Rangers will enter at the League Path third round qualifying stage.

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What does that mean?

Rangers will have to win through two two-legged ties to qualify for the Champions League but the good news is that they will be seeded for both the third qualifying round and the play-off if they progress.

Who are the possible opponents?

In the third qualifying round, Rangers are seeds with Benfica, PSV Eindhoven and the winner of the second qualifying round match which will involve Dynamo Kyiv. They will face one of: Monaco, Sturm Graz, Union Saint-Gilloise and the winner of the match involving Midtjylland who will play either Fenerbahce and AEK Larnaca.

As for the play-off round, the most likely opponents will be PSV Eindhoven or Dynamo Kyiv. Or whoever progresses from the matches involving those sides in the third qualifying round.

Rangers will enter the Champions League third qualifying round. (Photo by Sammy Turner / SNS Group)

If Rangers reach the group stage which pot will they be in?

As things stand, the Ibrox club will either be in Pot 3 or Pot 4. It is wholly dependent on whether Benfica, who are in the same qualifying path as Rangers, make it through their ties.

If Benfica were to lose, Rangers would be in Pot 3. If Benfica reach the group stage, Rangers will join Celtic in Pot 4.

Who are in the different pots?

Teams which are confirmed:

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

Pot 2: Chelsea, Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, Sevilla, RB Leipzig, Tottenham Hotspur.

Pot 3: Borussia Dortmund, FC Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk, Inter Milan, Napoli, Sporting CP, Bayer Leverkusen.

Pot 4: Club Brugge, Celtic.

If Liverpool win the Champions League they will go into Pot 1. If they don’t they will be in Pot 2 with Ajax in Pot 1.

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