Champions League: Rangers to play Malmo or HJK Helsinki, Celtic draw PSV or Galatasaray in third qualifying round

Scottish champions Rangers have been drawn to play Malmo or HJK Helsinki in the Champions League third qualifying round, while Celtic will face PSV or Galatasaray if they beat Midtjylland in the second qualifying round.

Rangers’ fixtures with Malmo or HJK Helsinki will be their first in the Champions League since 2011, while they have not reached the group stage since 2010.

Celtic are bidding to reach the group stage for the first time in four years, but they must first beat Denmark’s Midtjylland in their two-legged second qualifying round tie before taking on PSV or Galatasaray.

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The first leg of that tie will take place at Celtic Park on Tuesday night, and will be Ange Postecoglou’s first competitive game as Celtic manager.

The first legs of the third qualifying round will be played on August 3 or 4, while the second legs will take place on August 10.


As last season’s Scottish Premiership winners, Rangers will be playing in the champions’ path section of the draw, while Celtic, who finished second to Rangers, will be competing in the league path.

Sides on the champions’ path that are beaten in the third qualifying round will enter the Europa League play-offs. If they lose at that stage, they will compete in the inaugural Europa Conference League.

However, the sides on the league path that are knocked out in the third qualifying round will automatically enter the group stages of the Europa League.

As a result, both Rangers and Celtic are guaranteed to be playing group-stage European football this season.

More to follow….

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