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CELTIC EURO BOOST

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CELTIC have been handed a Champions League boost for season 2021/22.

Scotland are now guaranteed TWO qualifying spots in Europe’s elite competition in a year’s time.

Following Greek outfit Olympiacos’ 2-1 aggregate Europa League loss to Wolves at Molineux , the nation has moved to 14th place in UEFA’s coefficient table.

And that means if Neil Lennon’s men clinch the historic tenth successive title they will go straight into the Champions League third qualifying round next summer.

While the runners-up, who have had to settle for the Europa League in recent seasons, will go into the second qualifying round.

Ironically, the Scots could have been bettered places if Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox side hadn’t gone out on a 4-1 aggregate to Bayer Leverkusen, who won both ties home and away.

If the Govan club had been successful in reaching the Europa League quarter-final, they could have handed Premiership sides two spots in the tournament proper.

But their failure to overcome the Bundesliga club means our teams now miss out.

Our new ranking is good news for the 2020/21 Scottish Cup winners, as well, as they will go into the Europa League’s third qualifying round, according to a report in the Scottish Sun.

Whichever clubs finish third and fourth in the top flight will go into the second qualifying round for the new Europa Conference League.

Scotland could still drop to 15th place in the coefficient table, but for that to happen Swiss club Basel would have to win the Europa League.

They are due t play the Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk in the last eight, with the first leg away from home on Tuesday.

 
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