Europa League draw

Rangers and Celtic land favourable ties in Europe

Jermain Defoe celebrates Rangers debut goal

Braga-bound: Rangers (pic: SNS Group)

Celtic and Rangers will both be confident of progressing to the last 16 of the Europa League after landing favourable draws.

The Scottish champions, seeded for the knockout stages after qualifying as group winners, were paired with Danish side FC Copenhagen.

Steven Gerrard will lead his team into battle against Braga, the first time the Ibrox outfit has faced the Portuguese side.

Copenhagen progressed as runners-up from a group which included Malmo, Dynamo Kiev and Lugano and have former Arsenal striker Niklas Bendtner in their squad.

The teams have just once before in the 2006 Champions League when the Danes lost 1-0 at Parkhead but won their home tie 3-1.

Celtic will be away from home for the first leg on Thursday, 20 February with the return in Glasgow seven days later.

Braga are currently ninth in the table in Portugal, well adrift of leaders Porto against whom Rangers took four points in the group stages.

They reached the Europa League Final in 2011 and are managed by Ricardo Sa Pinto, a former Portuguese international who has also been in charge at Sporting Lisbon, Red Star Belgrade, Standard Liege and Legia Warsaw.

“I think it’s an excellent draw for us. It’s a game we feel we can definitely win over two legs,” said Rangers’ Greg Stewart.

Rangers host Braga at Ibrox on 20 February before heading to Portugal seven days later.

Full draw:

Wolves v Espanyol, Sporting Lisbon v Istanbul Basaksehir, Getafe v Ajax, Bayer Leverkusen v Porto, Copenhagen v Celtic, APOEL v Basel, Cluj v Sevilla, Olympiakos v Arsenal, AZ Alkmaar v LASK, Club Bruges v Manchester United, Ludogorets Razgrad v Inter Milan, Eintracht Frankfurt v Red Bull Salzburg, Shakhtar Donetsk v Benfica, Wolfsburg v Malmo, Roma v Ghent, Rangers v Braga.

Meanwhile, in the Champions League Manchester City will face Real Madrid while holders Liverpool take on Atletico Madrid in the last 16. Chelsea play Bayern Munich, Tottenham Hotspur drawn against RB Leipzig.

Champions League draw: Borussia Dortmund v Paris St-Germain, Real Madrid v Manchester City, Atalanta v Valencia, Atletico Madrid, v Liverpool, Chelsea v Bayern Munich, Lyon v Juventus, Tottenham v RB Leipzig, Napoli v Barcelona

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