Celtic face trip to Romania or Israel should the Scottish champions progress to the third qualifying round of the Champions League
- Cluj or Maccabi Tel-Aviv lie in wait for Neil Lennon’s men in round three
- Celtic need to overcome second qualifying round test against Nomme Kalju
- The first leg is on Wednesday with the reversal in Estonia next Tuesday
- The Scottish champions lost in the third qualifying round last year to AEK Athens
Celtic will face either Romanian side Cluj or Maccabi Tel-Aviv of Israel should they progress to the Champions League third qualifying round.
The Scottish side still have a second qualifying round tie against Estonian champions Nomme Kalju to navigate through, as they look to keep alive hopes of making the lucrative group stages.
Neil Lennon’s men saw off FK Sarajevo 5-2 on aggregate in their opening European tie of the new campaign and should Celtic progress again, the third qualifying round matches will be played on August 6/7 and 13.
Celtic manager Neil Lennon knows a trip to Romania or Israel beckons for his side
Captain Scott Brown (R) and Leigh Griffiths (L) celebrate Celtic’s win over FK Sarajevo
Should the SPL champions progress to the third qualifying round, they will have to play the tie either side of their second match of the new domestic season, at Motherwell, which is sandwiched in between.
CELTIC’S POTENTIAL ROUTE TO THE GROUP STAGES
- First qualifying round: beat FK Sarajevo 5-2 (agg.)
- Second qualifying round: vs Nomme Kalju – 24/30 July
- Third qualifying round: vs Cluj or Maccabi Tel-Aviv – 6/7, 13 August
- Play-off round: vs TBD – 20/21, 27/28 August
- Group Stage Draw: 29 August
Celtic are looking to perform better than last season’s showing, where they progressed no further than the third qualifying round following a 3-2 aggregate defeat to AEK Athens.
Despite the loss, they did progress to the knockout stages of the Europa League, where their run ended in the last-32 to Valencia.
Elsewhere in Monday’s draw, Ireland’s Dundalk are set to play either Montenegro club Sutjeska or APOEL of Cyprus in the third qualifying round if they can get past Azerbaijan side Qarabag.
The New Saints of Wales are taking on Copenhagen in the second qualifying round, and the Oswestry side will then meet either HJK Helsinki or Red Star Belgrade.
Sides defeated in the second qualifying round will transfer to the third qualifying round of the Europa League, while losers in the Champions League third qualifying round will transfer to the play-off round of Europe’s secondary competition.