Celtic now know they will play Lazio, Rennes and Cluj in the group stages of the Europa League.
The clubs were drawn together at today’s draw in Switzerland and it makes for a very interesting group stage.
Celtic fans will be well aware of all three teams for different reasons.
And here’s what we’ve found interesting from it:
1 – Cluj RevengeEmbed from Getty Images
The biggest story of the draw is Celtic drawing Cluj just weeks after the Romanians knocked them out of Champions League qualifying. Celtic had earned a 1-1 draw out in Romania, but inexplicably lost 4-3 in Glasgow a week later and that saw them drop down into the Europa League. Cluj went on to lost to Slavia Prague in the Champions League playoffs and that’s why they now find themselves in the Europa League too.
2 – Celtic Have Played Rennes BeforeEmbed from Getty Images
The Hoops drew Rennes in their Europa League group back in 2011 – and it went well for the Scots. Lennon was actually the manager back then and led his side to a draw away and a win at home. He should feel confident as a result. Celtic have played Rennes in two friendlies over the last four years too.
3 – Lazio Aren’t What They Have BeenEmbed from Getty Images
Lazio are known around European football after decades spent competing at the top of Serie A. Even over recent years they’ve been strong, finishing third in the 2014/15 season and then fifth twice in a row between 2016 and 2018. However, it was an eighth-placed finish for Lazio last season and they’re only in the Europa League due to winning the Coppa Italia last term. They have spent some money in the summer to sign the likes of Manuel Lazzari and Denis Vavro, but they have lost players too.
4 – Rennes Might Be FavouritesEmbed from Getty Images
Based off the start of their Ligue 1 season, Rennes might be the team everyone has to watch out for. They’ve won all three of their opening games, including a 2-1 victory over champions PSG nearly two weeks ago.
5 – The Top PlayersEmbed from Getty Images
At Lazio, Celtic have to watch out for Ciro Immobile, Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Lucas Leiva – three players who have a lot of experience at club and international level.
For Rennes, Mbaye Niang, 16-year-old Eduardo Camavinga, Clement Grenier are the danger men.
And at Cluj, Celtic should be all too aware of Bilel Omrani, who scored twice to dump them out of the Champions League.