No easy draw for Celtic


Share this story

Brendan Rodgers is confident Celtic can reach the Champions League group stages but he insists they face a test in the play-off round, regardless of who they land in the draw.

The Scottish champions secured their spot in the play-off round with a 1-0 aggregate victory over Rosenborg, thanks to a fine strike from James Forrest in the second half of the second leg on Wednesday.

Celtic will now take on either Azerbaijan champions Qarabag, Kazakhstan’s Astana, Croatian outfit Rijeka, Czech side Slavia Prague or Israel’s Hapoel Beer-Sheva in the play-off round.

Rodgers is confident the Parkhead side can progress to the tournament proper but he warned none of their potential opponents should be underestimated.

The Bhoys manager believes expectations have been raised at Celtic Park since he took charge of the club but he insists his squad can handle the pressure.

“When the draw comes it is going to be one of those anxious moments again at some point over the two legs,” he said.

“But, like I say, 12 months on it is a different mentality and feel.

“The squad are happy to go through but as I now expect that – and that comes from the belief of how they work and how they play.

Whoever we get it will be a tough game and my focus now will be on Hearts [in the Premiership on Saturday].”

Celtic are 1.25 to see off Hearts in Glasgow on Saturday or 6.50 to win 3-0.

Leave a comment