It’s always good to see Scottish teams in European football, and it was just unfortunate Aberdeen and St Johnstone crashed out of the Europa Conference League last midweek.
But Rangers and Celtic did go through, and into the group stages of the Europa League.
Ange Postecoglou’s side will play against Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros. Steven Gerrard will face Lyon, Brondby and Sparta Prague.
On paper, Rangers have been given the more-favourable draw.
However, it’s definitely within the grasp of both clubs to go through to the knockout stages.
Celtic and Rangers fans will both be eager to see their team in the midweek European nights under the floodlights, and Parkhead and Ibrox will be packed.
Before either club gets to that stage, they have domestic games to play, of course, and it starts at lunchtime today at Ibrox when they meet in the Premiership.
After their Covid scare, we will need to see the players who are available for Rangers, and if Steven is in the technical area.
Rangers will have to play better than they did in Armenia on Thursday afternoon. Yes, they got through, but it wasn’t an impressive performance.
Celtic also had shaky moments against AZ Alkmaar, but there appears to be confidence in the Hoops team just now.
They look comfortable in the way Ange wants them to play, and they are responding positively to his demands.
I’ve a feeling it will be a 2-2 draw. But Celtic have great options, middle to front, and in Kyogo Furuhashi, they have a special player with incredible movement.
But Rangers also have 50,000 inside the stadium today and, on paper, that should be a considerable advantage.
Like many, I hope the days of both sets of fans being allowed into one another’s stadiums is not too far off. It makes it a greater spectacle.
However, today’s game will still be powerful. We’d expect nothing less.
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