GLASGOW’S Big Two have been handed tough Europa League draws following today’s ballot in Istanbul.
Rangers, who overcame 10-man Alashkert 1-0 on aggregate after yesterday’s goalless stalemate in Armenia, will face French cracks Lyon, Sparta Prague and Brondby.
Boss Steven Gerrard missed the confrontation when he was ordered to self-isolate along with six players following a Covid outbreak at Gers.
RANGERS VIEW…Steven Gerrard speaks to the club’s TV station.
Celtic, who were made to sweat against AZ Alkmaar before edging through 3-2 overall after a 2-1 loss in the Netherlands, will square up to old Bhoy Jeremie Frimpong at Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and last season’s Champions League conquerors Ferencvaros.
Ange Postecoglou’s side took a lead inside three minutes against rugged Dutch opponents when Kyogo Furuhashi struck for this seventh goal in as many starts, but two dreadful defensive lapses allowed the home side back into the contest. A backs-to-the-wall display got the team through to today’s draw.
Both clubs are competing in the group stage of Europe’s second club competition for the fourth consecutive season. They will tune up for the Euro tests when they meet in the first Glasgow derby encounter of the campaign at Ibrox on Sunday with a midday kick-off.
Former Hoops boss Brendan Rodgers’ Leicester City have been drawn to face Napoli, Spartak Moscow and Artur Boruc’s Legia Warsaw.
CELTIC VIEW…Ange Postecoglou chats in a media conference.
Davie Moyes’ West Ham will face Dinamo Zagreb, Genk and Rapid Vienna on their return to European competition for the first time since the 2006/07 season.
The first matchday of the group stage begins on September 16.
The final is due to take place at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium on Wednesday, May 18.
Group stage draw in full:
Lyon, RANGERS, Sparta Prague, Brondby
Monaco, PSV Eindhoven, Real Sociedad, Sturm Graz
Napoli, Leicester City, Spartak Moscow, Legia Warsaw
Olympiacos, Eintracht Frankfurt, Fenerbahce, Royal Antwerp
Lazio, Lokomotiv Moscow, Marseille, Galatasaray
Braga, Red Star Belgrade, Ludogorets, Midtjylland
Bayer Leverkusen, CELTIC, Real Betis, Ferencvaros
Dinamo Zagreb, Genk, West Ham, Rapid Vienna