Celtic close in on Champions League boost which helps rivals Rangers

Rangers will have a vested interest in the Celtic 's Europa League clash with Copenhagen on Thursday night.

Should Neil Lennon's men progress into the last 16 then it will guarantee Scotland 13th place in UEFA's coefficient rankings.

That coupled with Rangers' impressive showing in Portugal where they saw off Braga 1-0 means the Scots are on the cusp of a major boost as they look to establish themselves as Champions League sides once again.

The Glasgow pair have not caused inroads in Europe's elite club competition since Celtic reached the Round of 16 in 2013 under Lennon.

But their pathway into the group stages could be made much easier courtesy of a higher coefficient ranking and would take affect in 2021/22.

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Rangers and Celtic avoided defeat in the first-legs of their Last 32 ties which ensured a spot in the top 15 thus earning them two spots in the Champions League.

It means the Scottish champions will automatically enter into the third and final round of Champions League qualification while the runners-up will begin at the second round.

Europa League opportunities are also likely to come with the Scottish Cup winners being awarded a spot.

For the aforementioned to happen Celtic need to take advantage of their 1-1 draw in the Danish capital last week.

Odsonne Edouard grabbed the vital away goal which puts the Bhoys in the driving seat as they look to join rivals Rangers in the last 16 of the competition.

And Lennon is confident a Scottish side can again grace the final of Europe's secondary competition with both Glasgow teams doing so since the turn of the millennium.

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He said: “I always think that maybe one day a Scottish team will get to another final, a Europa League final anyway. I’m hoping that’s going to be the case as we build.

“But right now I just want to get to the last 16 and take it from there. Who knows, we could get a doozy of a draw – but that’s the exciting bit as well.”

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