Celtic will play Shakhtyor Karaganda from Kazakhstan in the Champions League play-off round. Shakhtyor are 22 games into their league season but are 12 points off the pace, so are unlikely to add to their two Kazak titles.
They lost 3-2 away to Skënderbeu Korçë of Albania after a 3-0 home win to reach this stage but eliminated Bate Borisov in the earlier round.
Everyone at Celtic will be delighted to know that St Patrick’s Athletic, from Ireland, eliminated Shakhtyor from the 2011-12 Europa League, overturning a 2-1 deficit to win the home game 2-0.
There is 16 hours of flight time between Celtic and Shakhtyor, not counting refuelling, so the journey will be for the hardy, but as a ticket to Champions League riches, they don’t come much better.
One to keep an eye on, five years ago Shakhtyor were briefly disqualified from league football for match fixing……..
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