CELTIC and Rangers face tough draws following the Europa League group ballot in Nyon, Switzerland this afternoon.

Neil Lennon’s men will take on old foes AC Milan, who have Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their squad, while Steve Gerrard’s side will locl horns with Portuguese giants Benfica.

The Hoops will also meet Sparta Prague, of the Czech Republic, and French aces Lille in Group H.

In Group D, the Gers take on the Belgians of Standard Liege and Polish outfit Lech Poznan.

A goal from Odsonne Edouard gave Celtic a 1-0 success over Sarajevo in Bosnia last night while Gerrard watched his team overcome dangerous Turks Galatasaray 2-1 at Ibrox with strikes from Scott Arfield and James Tavernier.

The first round of matches are scheduled for Thursday, October 22, culminating in matchday six on December 10.

The Old Firm are the only home-based clubs to progress to the groups after Aberdeen and Motherwell faltered at the third qualifying round.

Last year, Lennon and Gerrard saw their players progress through their respective groups. The Parkhead men went out on a 4-2 aggregate score to FC Copenhagen at the last-32 stage, while Bayer Leverkusen overcame Gers in the following round.


GROUP A: Roma, Young Boys, Cluj, CSKA Sofia

GROUP B: Arsenal, Rapid Vienna, Molde, Dundalk

GROUP C: Bayer Leverkusen, Slavia Prague, Hapoel Be’er-Sheva, Nice

GROUP D: Benfica, Standard Liege, RANGERS, Lech Poznan

GROUP E: PSV Eindhoven, PAOK, Granada, Omonia

GROUP F: Napoli, Real Sociedad, AZ Alkmaar, NK Rijeka

GROUP G: Braga, Leicester, AEK Athens, Zorya Luhansk

GROUP H: CELTIC, Sparta Prague, AC Milan, Lille

GROUP I: Villareal, Qarabag, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Sivasspor

GROUP J: Spurs, Ludogorets, LASK, Royal Antwerp

GROUP K: CSKA Moscow, Dinamo Zagreb, Feyenoord, Wolfsberg

GROUP L: Gent, Red Star Belgrade, Hoffenheim, Slovan Liberec

* The group stages get underway in the week of October 19, with six rounds of group games running through to mid-December.

Matchday 1: October 22

Matchday 2: October 29
Matchday 3: November 5
Matchday 4: November 26
Matchday 5: December 3
Matchday 6: December 10

The Final will be held at the Stadion Energa Gdansk in Poland on May 26 next year.




About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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