Celtic v Rangers in the last 16 of the Europa League?
Sure, I accept the odds of it happening are slim.
But after both club’s performances in the competition in midweek, it can’t be completely ruled out.
The Old Firm have given themselves a more than decent chance of progressing, and with that comes the prospect of them facing one another in the tournament.
Next Friday’s draw has no seeding nor any restriction on teams from the same country being drawn together.
So I’m allowing my mind to float away for a second, and the thought if it almost takes the breath away.
Celtic v Rangers on back-to-back midweeks next month. That would be something quite special.
Depending on whether you want it to happen or not, someone might need to have a word with UEFA, and tell them to put two COLD balls in the glass bowl for the draw!
The demand for tickets would be as great as ever. You could probably arrange six ties and there wouldn’t be enough tickets to satisfy the appetites of the supporters – and neutrals, for that matter.
However, first and foremost, we just want to see both Glasgow clubs in the draw.
If they are both there, I don’t imagine many of the other 14 teams would fancy facing them. Celtic and Rangers are the kind of team that others will want to avoid.
But, first things first, and they both need to get through in the coming week.
Celtic started very well against FC Copenhagen, and could have two or three up by half-time.
Odsonne Edouard scored with a delightful goal – his 24th of the campaign in all competitions – but he was also denied by some brilliant goalkeeping from Karl-Johan Johnsson.
The Danes were much more of a threat after the interval and they pinned Neil Lennon’s men back. They equalised, and were then denied a winner when Fraser Forster saved Jens Stage’s penalty.
It was yet another brilliant, and important, save from the big Englishman.
What a signing he has turned out to be.
The penalty was awarded by VAR after a handball from Ryan Christie, and there can be no complaints about the decision.
The 1-1 draw puts Celtic in a strong position. I expect there will be 60,000 at Parkhead on Thursday night and the backing of the crowd can make all the difference.
In Portugal, 24 hours earlier, Steven Gerrard’s players will face Braga.
They go there with a 3-2 lead, yet they could have been down and out.
The Gers trailed 2-0 when Fransergio and Abel Ruiz put the visitors in cruise control. Palhinha was clean through just after the hour mark but Allan McGregor’s save stopped it from going to 3-0.
So credit to the Rangers players because they showed a great mentality and first-class approach to dig in.
Ianis Hagi got them going with a wonderful left-foot strike to make it 2-1 and then Joe Aribo levelled.
Ibrox Stadium rocked and then the fans were in dreamland when Hagi scored again with a deflected free-kick.
Yes, the goal was a wee bit fortunate, but you need that turn of luck every now and again.
Rangers are now 16 European games unbeaten at home under Steven, and that is a record to be extremely proud of.
They can class their stadium as a fortress when it comes to playing in European competition.
It’s yet another sign of the improvement Steven has made in the past 19 or 20 months.
To have a win to take over to Braga is encouraging, but it is also still a big ask to qualify.
The Portuguese side have been in good form and have beaten Benfica, Porto and Sporting Lisbon in the past few weeks.
Rangers will have to try to progress in the competition without Alfredo Morelos.
He was booked for dissent in the first half against Braga and is now suspended.
But I have to say I think his yellow card was very unfortunate.
It remains to be seen if Jermain Defoe will be back from injury and available for selection in midweek.
It could well be Steven and his coaching staff will need to come up with something completely different because there is every chance they will need to score over there to go through.
Some may say that Ryan Kent would be a good option in the No. 9 role.
Ryan is receiving some criticism at the moment, and I think it’s unfair on the lad.
The unfortunate thing for footballers is that there is usually someone who is singled out for negativity.
But Ryan has to put that out of his mind and focus on his job.
He is a talented footballer and has the ability and mentality to come through this.
Maybe he is just trying too hard, and that in itself can be a problem.
I just hope he is allowed to play without feeling people are ready to jump on his back.
Remember, this is his first full season at Rangers as a permanent signing, and it’s impossible for any footballer to produce 40 weeks a year of the very highest standard they are capable of.
Whether Ryan plays or not in midweek, I wish Rangers and Celtic the best of luck.
They both entertained last week with their football, and they were a credit to themselves and to Scottish football.
Long may it continue.
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