Champions League: Celtic to face Malmo or Vidi if they beat AEK Athens

Cork City learn Europa League fate ahead of Rosenborg tie

Celtic will face Malmo or Vidi for a place in the Champions League group stages if they win their qualifier against AEK Athens. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA

Celtic will face Malmo or Vidi for a place in the Champions League group stages if they win their qualifier against AEK Athens. Photograph: Jeff Holmes/PA

 

Celtic will face Malmo or Vidi for a place in the Champions League group stages should they win their qualifier against AEK Athens.

The Scottish champions, who have already beaten Aleshkert and Rosenborg, will reach the play-off round if they see off Greek side AEK in a tie beginning with Wednesday’s first leg at Celtic Park.

They would then play either Malmo — in a repeat of a tie won by the Swedes in 2015 — or Hungarian side Vidi with the prize being a place in the group stage for a third time in four seasons.

Malmo won 4-3 on aggregate when they faced Celtic three years ago, turning the tie around after losing the first leg in Glasgow 3-2.

The play-off matches will take place on August 21nd-22nd and 28th-29th, with the draw for the group stages — for which 26 clubs have qualified automatically — behing held on August 30th.

Elsewhere in the draw, Dutch side PSV Eindhoven will play Qarabag or BATE Borisov with Swiss outfit Young Boys tackling Astana or Dinamo Zagreb.

Meanwhile Cork City will play either Red Bull Salzburg or Macedonia’s KF Shkëndija in the next round of Europa League qualifying if they progress past Rosenborg.

The draw for the play-off round — from which the winners will advance to the group stage — was made at Uefa’s Nyon headquarters on Monday. Its final make-up will be determined after the third qualifying round, which begins this week.

Celtic will hope not to be involved as they bid to progress in the Champions League but they will drop into the competition should they lose their next qualifer to AEK Athens. They would then play Spartaks Jurmala of Latvia or Lithuanian side Suduva.

The play-off ties will be played over two legs on August 23rd and 30th.

Rangers and Hibernian could both face trips to Russia in their quests to reach the competition’s group stage.

Steven Gerrard’s Rangers will have to play Russian side Ufa or Progres Niederkorn of Luxembourg in the play-off round should they see off Maribor in their next qualifier.

Hibs will face Zenit St Petersburg or Dinamo Minsk if they beat Molde while Premier League side Burnley, if they get past Istanbul Basaksehir, will face Olympiakos or Lucerne.

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