Who are Celtic's possible opponents in Champions League play-off?

Celtic are in the draw for the play-off round of Champions League qualification after defeating Astana 3-2 on aggregate over two legs.

Goals from Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele assured Celtic's passage into the play-off round. Picture: SNS
Goals from Leigh Griffiths and Moussa Dembele assured Celtic's passage into the play-off round. Picture: SNS

They are now one tie away from reaching the group stages of the competition after missing out the past two years.

Here are the five possible opponents they could face in the play-off.

Copenhagen

The Danish side have won their country’s title 10 times in the past 16 seasons and have regularly competed in the Champions League, last getting to the group stage in 2013 where they finished fourth in a group consisting of Juventus, Real Madrid and Galatasaray. They are currently managed by former Wolves boss Stale Solbakken.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Dinamo Zagreb

Celtic could line up against a familiar foe having faced the Croatian side as recently as 2014 when the two sides met in the Europa League group stages. Celtic got the upper hand, finishing second to advance to the round of 32 while Zagreb exited the competition. The two sides won a game each, though Zagreb’s 4-3 home victory was in the final match of the group after Celtic had already secured their qualification for the knockout stages.

They are currently managed by the father of Rangers midfielder Niko Kranjcar. The much travelled Zlatko Kranjčar is in his third spell at the club.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Dundalk

A stadium capacity of around 5,000 and managed by former Dunfermline manager Stephen Kenny, the Irish side are now guaranteed a cash windfall as they’ll be assured of at least a place in the Europa League groups. But don’t write them off. They defeated Champions League regulars of recent seasons BATE Borisov 3-1 over two legs and will give Celtic a tough time if they can reproduce that level of performance.

Hapoel Be’er Sheva

The Israeli champions pulled off a shock by defeating Olympiakos in the previous round. This is the first time they’ve ever competed in the Champions League qualifiers, or even the European Cup, as the last time they won the Israeli title, in 1976, the honour was worth only a place in the Intertoto Cup.

Advertisement

Hide Ad

Ludogorets Razgrad

The Bulgarian upstarts were only founded in 2001 but, like Celtic, have won their country’s title each of the past five years. They famously played against Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool in the Champions League group stages two years ago, though it’s the only time they’ve made that stage of the competition. The following year they crashed out to Moldovan side Milsami Orhei, but have improved this year with wins over Mladost Podgorica and Red Star Belgrade to get to the play-off round.

Read More

Read More
Rumour Mill: Rangers want Ball | Mallan to Hibs? | Motherwell reject Johnson bid...

Advertisement

Hide Ad

DOWNLOAD THE SCOTSMAN APP ON ITUNES OR GOOGLE PLAY