Deila heading home
Celtic face tricky ties in Europa League draw
Celtic have been drawn against Dutch giants Ajax, Turkish powerhouse Fenerbahce and Norwegian outfit Molde FK in Group A of the Europa League, proving that despite its ‘poor relation’ reputation the competition includes some first rate rivals.
Fenerbahce now feature former Manchester United duo Robin van Persie and Nani. Celtic last met Ajax in the Champions League group stages two seasons ago, beating them 2-1 in Glasgow but losing away in Amsterdam 1-0. The ties with Molde will mean manager Ronny Deila making a trip back to his homeland.
He said: “It’s a good group with some big teams and there will be a lot of exciting games home and away”.
An added incentive is that the winners of the Europa League will qualify for next season’s Champions League, thereby avoiding the need to navigate through qualifying rounds.
The full draw
GROUP A Ajax Amsterdam, Celtic, Fenerbahce, Molde
GROUP B Rubin Kazan, Liverpool, Bordeaux, Sion
GROUP C Borussia Dortmund, PAOK, Salonika Krasnodar, Qabala
GROUP D Napoli, Club Bruges, Legia Warsaw, Midtjylland
GROUP E Villarreal, Viktoria Plzen, Rapid Vienna, Dinamo Minsk
GROUP F Olympique Marseille, Braga, Liberec, Groningen
GROUP G Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, Lazio, St Etienne, Rosenborg
GROUP H Sporting Lisbon, Besiktas, Lokomotiv Moscow, Skenderbeu
GROUP I Basel, Fiorentina, Lech Poznan, Belenenses
GROUP J Tottenham Hotspur, Anderlecht, Monaco, Qarabag
GROUP K Schalke 04 ,APOEL Nicosia, Sparta Prague, Asteras
Group L Athletic Bilbao, AZ Alkmaar, Augsburg, Partizan Belgrade