Which Champions League dropouts can Celtic face in the next round?

All eight teams who will be dropping into the Europa League are now confirmed. Club Brugge, Olympiacos, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Red Bull Slazburg, Inter Milan, Benfica and Ajax are the eight teams who finished third in their respective groups and will now be entering the Europa League Round of 32 draw.

Celtic though are already guaranteed to finish top of their group after having won four of their five games. An impressive achievement considering their group also had the likes of Lazio, Rennes and CFR Cluj. As a result of topping their group, the Hoops have the advantage of facing only the 4 of the dropouts from the Champions League who have the worst records.

That means that Celtic will not have to face the likes of Inter Milan, Ajax, Benfica and Red Bull Salzburg. Club Brugge, Olympiacos, Shakhtar Donetsk and Bayer Leverkusen were the four weakest sides who came third in their group, and Celtic might end up getting drawn against one of them. The Hoops fans will certainly be relieved at not having to face Inter Milan or Ajax.

The club will take on CFR Cluj in the last match of the group stage tonight. Neil Lennon’s men have nothing to play for as they are already guaranteed to top their group. But the chance to get revenge on CFR Cluj for eliminating them from the UEFA Champions League qualification phase earlier this season could be a great way to end a historical European group stage campaign.


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Sourav Mahanty is a staff reporter on The Celtic Star providing readers with the latest news stories as they break.

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