McGregor’s Mistake, Moravcik67 outlines all Europa League qualifying scenarios

CALLUM McGREGOR is wrong when he says that Rosenborg can no longer qualify for the knock-out stages of the Europa League.

As things stand any of the four teams in the group could go through and any could go out – even Salzburg who are sitting on maximum points.

The bookies seem to have decided that the two Red Bull teams will conspire to produce a 1-0 win for the Germans in Austria on Thursday night but that would leave Salzburg having to avoid a 3-0 defeat at Celtic Park, provided Celtic beat Rosenborg (goal difference against them won’t count so 1-0 will be enough for Celtic on Thursday night – ie there’s no need to chase goals after going into the lead).

Salzburg may think that they are good enough to avoid a 3-0 defeat at Parkhead under the Disco Lights but it is not impossible. Improbable certainly but it could get uncomfortable for them if they lost an early goal and the crowd played it’s part, a second one could see them crumble. That would be remarkable for a side with four straight wins at the start of the group and it is a scenario that surely they will want to avoid.

Calmac isn’t to sure on how all of this works. We’ll get an expert it to explain it for everyone, including Callum. Here’s what he has been saying to the media.

“I think we can draw on our previous games out in Norway,” McGregor said.

“Under the manager we have managed to get positive results out there so far and if we continue to play the way we have been playing there’s no reason we can’t go out and get another good result this time.

“They can no longer qualify so if you look at it that way they might not have much to play for, but we can’t think like that.

“We just have to go with a positive mindset and try to keep our hopes alive.

“It’s beginning to feel like a home game over there!

“It’s a place we know well and know what to expect. Sometimes you go to these big stadiums in Europe, you maybe don’t know what to expect and you are up against it.

“I think the results we have had over there it shows it’s a stadium where we feel comfortable and know we can perform in.

“We’ll be looking to play well there again.”

Given their poor showing in the group, and the winter weather in Norway, you wouldn’t really expect the home crowd to be that motivated to attend this match and that could also work in Celtic’s favour on come Thursday.

The excellent Moravcik67 on Twitter has explained all the scenarios for qualification from this group…

1. Ahead of the game in Norway on Thursday, here are some tweets about the possible permutations of who qualifies from our group.

Reminder. All 4 teams can still qualify or be knocked out. Obviously, Rosenborg qualifying and Salzburg going out are less likely.

2. Before I start. Yes I agree that beating Rosenborg is the only thing that matters right now. But there has been a lot of talk about Salzburg lying down to Leipzig. And there’s still a misunderstanding about what happens if the 3 teams finish tied on 12pts.


3. There are 5 possible scenarios

a) Celtic finish ahead of Leipzig on points
b) Leipzig finish ahead of Celtic on points
c) (Only) Celtic and Leipzig finish tied on points
d) Celtic, Leipzig and Salzburg finish tied on 12pts
e) Celtic, Leipzig and Rosenborg finish tied on 6pts

4. I’ll run through them in order

a) Straightforward. Celtic & Salzburg progress. We could top the group on the head to head with 2 Celtic wins, 2 Salzburg losses, and if Leipzig drop points to Rosenborg. But the most likely outcome in this scenario is Salzburg top.
1 reply 1 retweet 5 likes


b) Again straightforward. Leipzig progress with Salzburg. As with scenario a) Salzburg are more likely to top the group. But Leipzig could on head to head, with the right results.

c) A 2-way Celtic/Leipzig tie. Leipzig go through on head to head, Salzburg top the group.


d) This is where there are misconceptions. A 3-way tie of Celtic, Leipzig & Salzburg can only happen if Celtic & Leipzig win both games and join Salzburg on 12pts

In this scenario, the normal 2-way head to head rules won’t apply. Beating Salzburg 2-0 won’t put us through.

If d) does happen it goes to a 3 way head to head – a new league table is drawn using results from the games between those 3 teams only. Any results v Rosenborg are ignored.

See attached pic for the order of tiebreakers.

Note: Leipzig will definitely qualify in this scenario

8. The 1st tiebreaker is points. This doesn’t help. All 3 teams have beaten the others, and lost to the others. So we’d all be tied on 6pts.

The 2nd tiebreaker is goal difference in games between the 3 teams. Currently that stands at

Salzburg +3 GD
Leipzig 0 GD
Celtic -3 GD

9. But as Salzburg would have to lose v Leipzig for it to happen, going into the final game the GD would be

Salzburg +2 (at best)
Leipzig +1 (at worst)
Celtic -3

Clearly this doesn’t look to good for us, should we need to beat Salzburg to go through.

10. Basically, the more Leipzig beat Salzburg by in this scenario, the less Celtic need to beat Salzburg by to go through.

If Leipzig beat Salzburg by 1, we’d need to beat them by 3 to knock them out.

We’d need Leipzig to win by 5 for us to only need a 1-0 win in the last game.

11. The 3rd tiebreaker is goals scored in games between the teams. In reality, Celtic can’t win on this rule. Current goals

Salzburg 6
Leipzig 5
Celtic 3

To match Salzburg we’d need to score at least 3 more than them in the last game. If we do that we beat them on GD, not goals


Finally, e). This would require Celtic & Leipzig losing both their last games. There is no permutation in this scenario that could see Celtic qualify. Again, it would go to GD between the 3 teams. Currently

Leipzig 3 GD
Celtic 0 GD
Rosenborg -3 GD

13. As we would lose to Rosenborg, we would end up, at best, on -1GD. Whatever happens in the Rosenborg v Leipzig match, one of them would always have a better GD than us.

This is by far the least likely scenario, though.

14. Anyway, enough gibberish. One last point, in among all the talk of teams lying down.

Qualification is in our own hands. We don’t have to rely on anyone else. True, it might involve having to beat Salzburg by 3 goals, but it’s still in our own hands.

5. As always, throw up any questions if you have them. And feel free to point out any mistakes you spot.


Follow Here:


About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email

Comments are closed.