UEFA Champions League: Rangers face Malmo, Helsinki or Celtic Draw PSV or Galatasaray in the third preliminary round | football news
The Scottish champions will meet either Malmo or Helsinki in the third round of qualifying for the Champions League, while Celtic will meet PSV Eindhoven or Galatasaray if they beat Midtjylland in the second round of qualifying.
Rangers’ matches with Malmo or 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 second-round qualifying match before facing PSV Eindhoven or Galatasaray.
The first leg of that clash will take place at Celtic Park on Tuesday night, and it will be Ange Postecoglou’s first competitive match as Celtic manager.
Both Rangers and Celtic will miss their first leg of the third preliminary round, which will take place on August 3 or 4. The first leg will be played on August 10.
If HJK Helsinki beat Malmo in their second-round qualifier, Rangers forward Alfredo Morelos, who played for the Finnish club for less than 18 months before moving to Ibrox in the summer of 2017, will be reunited.
As last season’s Scottish Premier League winner, Rangers will play in the Champions Path section of the lottery, while they will meet, who finished second to Rangers, in the League Road.
The sides will enter the path of the Champions who were defeated in the third round of qualifying to the European League play-off matches. If they lose at that point, they will compete in the inaugural edition of the European Conference League.
However, parties on the league track that have been eliminated in the third preliminary round will automatically enter the group stages of the European League.
As a result, both Rangers and Celtic are guaranteed to play European football in the group stage this season.