Everything Celtic and Rangers fans need to know ahead of the Europa League draw

Celtic and Rangers have reached the Europa League group stages. Picture: Clive Rose/Getty
Celtic and Rangers have reached the Europa League group stages. Picture: Clive Rose/Getty
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Celtic and Rangers won through to the Europa League group stages on Thursday night with success over Suduva and FC Ufa respectively and will enter the draw on Friday afternoon.

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It is the first time since the competition’s rebranding that Scotland has had two representatives at this stage.

Here is everything Celtic and Rangers fans need to know ahead of the draw.

When is the draw?

Taking place in Monaco, it starts at 12pm. Although, as with any Uefa draw ceremony, expect a lot of tedium before the main event takes place.

What pots are the teams in?

Celtic’s performance in Europe over the past few seasons has earned them a place in the second pot, alongside Marseille and AC Milan.

Rangers’ European inactivity and last season’s shambolic exit to Progres Niederkorn means they’ve been placed in the fourth pot where they are joined by the likes of Akhisarspor, F91 Dudelange and Sarpsborg 08.

The pots in full?

Pot 1: Sevilla, Arsenal, Chelsea, Zenit St Petersburg, Bayer Leverkusen, Dynamo Kiev, Besiktas, Red Bull Salzburg, Olympiacos, Villarreal, Anderlecht, Lazio

Pot 2: Sporting Lisbon, Ludogorets Razgrad, Copenhagen, Marseille, CELTIC, PAOK, AC Milan, Genk, Fenerbahce, Krasnodar, Astana, Rapid Vienna

Pot 3: Real Betis, Qarabag, BATE Borisov, Dinamo Zagreb, RB Leipzig, Eintracht Frankfurt, Malmo, Spartak Moscow, Standard Liege, FC Zurich, Bordeaux, Rennes

Pot 4: Apollon Limassol, Rosenborg, Vorskla Poltava, Slavia Prague, Akhisarspor, Jablonec, AEK Larnaca, MOL Vidi, RANGERS, F91 Dudelange, Spartak Trnava, Sarpsborg 08

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The ‘easy’ draw for each team

The best draw for Celtic would be Anderlecht from pot one, FC Zurich from three and F91 Dudelange from four. Brendan Rodgers’ men won in the Belgian capital last season, Zurich finish fourth in the Swiss Super League, while F91 Dudelange are from Luxembourg, one of Europe’s weaker football nations.

As for Rangers Anderlecht from pot one, Rapid Vienna from pot two and Zurich, or even France’s Rennes, from the third pod would represent a very realistic chance of reaching the knockout stages.

The ‘box office’ draw

Celtic’s would be English giants Arsenal, a trip to Spain to face Real Betis and an away day to the wonderful city of Prague to face Slavia.

Chelsea would be the ideal box office team from pot one for Rangers. AC Milan are obviously the big names from pot two for Rangers but a meeting with Marseille would bring back memories of the 1992 Champions League encounter, while a trip to Germany to face Eintracht Frankfurt would be one which would appeal to fans.

Can Celtic and Rangers draw each other?

No. Teams from the same country can’t be drawn in the same group.

When does it all start?

The first group fixture takes place on 20 September, with the last of the six group games being played on 13 December.

The knockout stages start in February with the final being held in the capital of Azerbaijan Baku on 29 May.

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