Celtic have received some clarity concerning their first Champions League qualifying round opponents after this week’s first leg results in qualifying round two. The five matches that could provide an opponent for Celtic all produced hot favourites to progress.
Sheriff Tiraspol, who won away in Armenia, are 22 games into their league campaign and top the Moldovan table. HJK Helsinki, who won 7-0 on Tuesday night’s Champions League qualifier, are joint top in Finland after 17 games.
All other expected opponents won 3-0 at home in the first leg. Neftchi Baku are top of the Azerbaijan league after 16 games. Molde are two points off the pace in Norway after 15 games. AEL Limassol are Celtic’s only potential opponents who have yet to start their campaign.
If Celtic are to progress to the group stage they will have to overcome stiffer opposition than any of these teams in the final qualifying round, so we should look forward to a stiff test.
Loved the We are Celtic Supporters video from Celtic TV (below). Great quotes from Jimmy McGrory, Tommy Burns, Billy McNeill, Paul McStay, Jock Stein and the original “<insert name> is more than a football club” from Sir Robert Kelly, a few decades before it was picked up in Catelonia.