What tournament? Which pot? European state of play for Scottish clubs

Celtic were drawn in a group with Real Madrid last season
Celtic were drawn in a Champions League group with Real Madrid last season

On the week the group stage draws are made for European competitions, all five of Scotland’s representatives are still involved – although one is wobbling on the ropes and one is already flat on the canvas.

Three will definitely be in the various tombolas on Thursday and Friday, but only two now know exactly where at this stage.

So what is the state of play going into a huge few days of continental action?


The Scottish Premiership champions go straight into the Champions League for the second season running.

Brendan Rodgers’ side will be in pot four for Thursday’s draw in Monaco at 17:00 BST.

Holders Manchester City are in pot one, along with Europa League winners Sevilla and the six domestic champions of the highest ranked leagues.

There are five previous champions of Europe in pot two, including 14-time winners Real Madrid, who Celtic met last time, and Manchester United.

Italian heavyweights AC Milan and Lazio lurk in pot three.


The Ibrox side were aiming to join Celtic at the top table, but failed to repeat last season’s heroics in Eindhoven to do so on Wednesday.

Level after a 2-2 first leg play-off final draw at Ibrox, PSV turned on the style in the Netherlands to record a 5-1 win on the night and a 7-3 aggregate triumph.

The Europa League now awaits Michael Beale’s side, who made the competition’s final in 2022.

Among the confirmed pot one teams for the middle child of the tournaments are Liverpool, West Ham, Roma, Bayer Leverkusen, Villarreal and Atalanta. Rangers could join that list depending on results elsewhere. Pot two is perhaps more likely.


The Dons are preparing for European group football for the first time since 2007-08 when the Uefa Cup was still a thing.

Get the better of Hacken at Pittodrie on Thursday and it’s the Europa League, while there is a Europa Conference League safety net. Barry Robson’s side are very handily placed after a 2-2 draw in Sweden.

Aberdeen will be a pot four team wherever they end up.

Real Betis, Marseille, Olympiacos, Sporting CP, Rennes and Brighton are among the tasty teams in pots 2 and 3 of the Europa League, with Eintracht Frankfurt, Lille, Brugge, Fiorentina, Fenerbahce and Aston Villa among the big names in line to enter the Conference League.


The Tynecastle side got a taste of Conference League group football last season, but need a special night against PAOK in Greece for a repeat experience since they trail 2-1 going to the hostile and sweltering Toumba Stadium.

It’s win or bust in the second leg of the play-off for the Jambos.


Poor old Hibs head to Aston Villa on Thursday without a manager and without a prayer after a 5-0 scudding at Easter Road in the first leg.

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