Celtic were a top seed in today’s Europa League draw, but a fat lot of good it did Scotland’s habitual champions, as they ended up in a group that wouldn’t look out of place in the Champions League, alongside Sparta Prague, AC Milan and Lille – no pushovers there.
Get this: there were 12 teams in each of the four pots, and Celtic got the second-best (according to UEFA rankings) side from each of pots 2,3 and 4. That’s some horrible luck.
After some arduous away days to even make it to this stage, Jose Mourinho should be reasonably happy with Tottenham’s lot – Group J looks benign. Arsenal and Leicester should also have enough quality to progress, while Rangers will quietly fancy their chances of escaping Group D.
The draw (British clubs in bold):
Group A: Roma, Young Boys, Cluj, CSKA Sofia
Group B: Arsenal, Rapid Vienna, Molde, Dundalk
Group C: Bayer Leverkusen, Slavia Prague, Hapoel Beer-Sheva, Nice
Group D: Benfica, Standard Liege, Rangers, Lech Poznan
Group E: PSV Eindhoven, Paok Thessaloniki, Granada, Omonia
Group F: Napoli, Real Sociedad, AZ Alkmaar, Rijeka
Group G: Braga, Leicester, AEK Athens, Zorya Luhansk
Group H: Celtic, Sparta Prague, AC Milan, Lille
Group I: Villarreal, Qarabag, Maccabi Tel-Aviv, Sivasspor
Group J: Tottenham, Ludogorets, ASK Linz, Royal Antwerp
Group K: CSKA Moscow, Dinamo Zagreb, Feyenoord, Wolfsberg
Group L: Gent, Red Star Belgrade, Hoffenheim, Slovan Liberec