RANGERS will play Malmo or HJK Helsinki in the Champions League third qualifying round, while Celtic will face PSV Eindhoven or Galatasaray if they beat FC Midtjylland in the second qualifying round.

Glasgow’s Big Two learned their potential European fates after this morning’s draw at UEFA HQ in Nyon in Switzerland, as reported by Sky Sports News.

The Ibrox side’s fixtures against either the Swedes or the Finns will be their first in Europe’s elite competition since 2011, while they have not reached the group stage since 2010.

Ange Postecoglou is preparing to guide the Hoops through the qualifying process to reach the moneyspinning sections for the first time in four years. The Parkhead begin their quest with a second round qualifier against FC Midtjylland in Glasgow tomorrow night with the return in Denmark in eight days time.

If they are successful, the former Australia international manager can turn his attention to Dutch aces PSV or Turkish giants Galatasaray.

Both Scots teams will be away in their first legs of the third qualifying round, which will be played on August 3 or 4. The second legs will take place on August 10.

If HJK overcome Malmo, it will set up a reunion for Gers striker Alfredo Morelos, who played for the Finnish club for just under 18 months before moving to Glasgow in the summer of 2017.

As last season’s title winners, Steven Gerrard’s men will be playing in the champions’ path of the draw, while the Hoops, who finished distant runners-up following their catastrophic campaign that saw their bid for a historic tenth successive flag ended early in the term, will be competing in the league route.

Sides on the champions’ path that are beaten in the third qualifying round will enter the Europa League play-offs. If they lose at that stage, they will compete in the inaugural Europa Conference League.

However, the sides on the league path that are knocked out in the third qualifying round will automatically enter the group stages of the Europa League. As a result, both Glasgow clubs are guaranteed to be playing group-stage European football this season.


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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