Celtic in Champions League: What the opposition have said as Group F profiled
The Hoops will face holders Real Madrid (Spain), RB Leipzig (Germany) and Shakhtar Donetsk (Ukraine) in the group stage.
Celtic will take on 14-time reigning European champions Real Madrid, alongside RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League group stage - and there is a sense that Ange Postecoglou’s side can be competitive in a group which offers plenty of cause for optimism.
Parkhead has earned a reputation as one of the best atmospheres in Europe over the years and Hoops fans will be eager to see how their new-look team fare in UEFA’s premier club competition after a five-year absence.
Callum McGregor had spoken of his desire to lead him team-mates out against Real Madrid in the build up to Thursday’s draw in Istanbul and the Celtic skipper’s dream will come true as the Galacticos prepare to visit Glasgow.
The La Liga giants and current holders are clear favourites to top the section but an intruiging battle could materialise between the remaining three teams to finish runners-up and seal a place in the last-16.
So what have the opposition said about Group F? GlasgowWorld takes a look...
REAL MADRID (Spain)
Manager - Carlo Ancelotti
Stadium - Santiago Bernabeu (81,044 capacity)
Star Man - Karim Benzema
The Los Blancos head coach has told his top seeds to tread carefully when they visit Parkhead after suffering a shock defeat to Moldovan underdogs FC Sheriff Tiraspol in front of their supporters last season.
He said: “It’s a different group because in two months we played all the games last year, in the simplest game against the Sheriff - at the Bernabeu - we lost it. That’s why we have to be careful.
“There will be complicated environments and it won’t be easy to play in Glasgow, in Leipzig... We have to respect the group as rivals respect Real Madrid.”
RB LEIPZIG (Germany)
Manager - Domenico Tedesco
Stadium - Red Bull Arena (47,069 capacity)
Star Man - Christopher Nkunku
The German oufit were knocked out of the Europa League semi-finals by Rangers last season and Bundesliga side are determined to ensure they continue to on their upward trajectory in European football.
CEO Oliver Mintzlaff said: “To be in a group alongside Champions League holders Real Madrid as well as domestic champions Shakhtar and Celtic is an exciting challenge that we relish and are looking forward to.
“We’re extremely proud to be competing in the Champions League for the fifth time after just seven years in the Bundesliga.
“Alongside our fans, we’re looking forward to the magical nights. Our goal is to reach the knockout rounds for the third time.”
SHAKHTAR DONETSK (Ukraine)
Manager - Igor Jovićević
Stadium - Donbass Arena (70,050 capacity)
Star Man - Lassina Traoré
The Ukrainian champions are gearing up for a tightly contested group and they will relocate to Warsaw in Poland for their ‘home’ fixtures due to the ongoing war in their homeland.
Director of football Darijo Srna said: “There are no easy groups in the Champions League. We will fight to the last.
“Real Madrid are Real Madrid. We already played against Celtic twice before. RB Leipzig are a good team.
“So let’s put it this way - the draw could have been worse, it could have been better. The most important thing is to enjoy the games that are waiting.
“Unfortunately, there will not be full stands in Ukraine, but I am sure there will be in Warsaw. Many of our fans will come and they deserve, like the whole of Ukraine, that we demonstrate good, bright football, so they get pleasure from games.”