Quantcast

THE FIVE RIVALS WHO STAND BETWEEN HOOPS AND EURO GLORY

0

CELTIC could face three old foes when the Champions League play-off draw is made in Switzerland tomorrow.

Here are the five possible obstacles that stand between the seeded Hoops and the money-spinning group stages for the second successive season.

HAPOEL BE’ER SHEVA

Brendan Rodgers’ men could face the Israeli title winners at the same stage of the competition for the second consecutive campaign.

The six-in-a-row champions won 5-2 at Parkhead, but endured a nervy 90 minutes away from home where they lost 2-0 and Craig Gordon also made a tremendous penalty-kick save.

QARABAG

The Azerbaijani side have made the play-off round for the first time having been eliminated at the third-round qualifying stage in the last three years.

Two years ago, they lost out 1-0 on aggregate to Ronny Deila’s team when Dedryck Boyata headed in a right-wing corner-kick in the Glasgow clash and that was enough to separate the sides.

ASTANA

The Kazakhstan kingpins were eliminated by Rodgers’ side at the third-round stage in last season’s qualifying campaign.

Leigh Griffiths got the all-important leveller in the 1-1 draw away from home and netted a penalty-kick in the return. The visitors stunned the stadium with a leveller, but Moussa Dembele, with his first goal for the club, struck the last-gasp winner from the spot.

SLAVIA PRAGUE

After lifting their first Czech League title in eight years, Slavia are now two games away from the group stages after defeating BATE Borisov on away goals.

They haven’t faced Scottish competition in Europe since losing to Hearts in the UEFA Cup in 1993, but Celtic gained a noteworthy goalless draw on their ground last month during their pre-season build-up.

RIJEKA

Winners of their first-ever Croatian title last season, Rijeka will be familiar to Scottish football fans for the stunning 5-2 aggregate defeat to Aberdeen in 2015/16 Europa League qualifying.

May be seen as many as dark horses, they knocked out seeded Austrian outfit RB Salzburg on the goals away rule after drawing 1-1 on aggregate.

Meanwhile listen to the new CQN Podcast below, it really is worth taking the time.

This edition features a hard hitting introduction from Paul Dykes on the cheating and also a look back at The Celts for Change Years, which will remind you where we were as a football club in the nineties.

img_3675.jpg

 
Click Here for Comments >
Share.

About Author

Do Not Sell My Personal Information