Celtic remain in dark as four SPFL clubs learn European fate

Brendan Rodgers will have to wait a little longer to find out the opposition for his first Celtic European match, after the Scottish giants drew a first-qualifying-round survivor in the Champions League.

What is certain however, is that it will either be a trip to Estonia or Gibraltar for the second qualifying round. The victors of Flora Tallinn’s clash against Lincoln Red Imps will await the Bhoys.

One week after that encounter is decided, Celtic will get their European campaign underway, playing on the road in the first leg on either July 12 or 13.

Gibraltar’s Lincoln have won 14 national titles on the bounce and reached the second qualifying round last season, while Estonian side Flora Tallinn lie fourth in their league after 17 games.

It was a day of discovery for a host of other SPFL outfits, as Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibernian all went into the pot for the Europa League’s first and second qualifying round draws.

The Dons, who finished as silver medallists to Celtic in the Ladbrokes Premiership last season, have a home first leg against Luxembourg’s Fola Esch on June 30 to prepare for.

Runners up in their national division last season, Fola Esch are managed by Jeff Strasser – the country’s most capped player – but have never won a European match in their history.

Hearts will travel to another Estonian side for their first qualifying round assignment. Infonet Tallinn were only founded in 2002, but gained notoriety last year with a 36-0 win in the Estonian Cup that matched Arbroath’s record for the largest winning margin in a game.

As winners of the Scottish Cup, Hibs went straight into the hat for the second qualifying stage, but didn’t particularly benefit from the luxury.

Multi-time Champions League participants Brondby are their potential opponents should the Danish giants negotiate their opening tie against Valur Reykjavik.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.