Celtic handed Europa Conference League tie with Norwegians FK Bodo/Glimt as former Hoops striker Andy Walker reacts to draw

Europa Conference League logo unveiledEuropa Conference League logo unveiled
Europa Conference League logo unveiled
The Hoops were unseeded for Monday’s draw in Nyon

Celtic have been drawn against Norwegian side FK Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League play-off round.

Ange Postecoglou’s side were unseeded for Monday’s draw in Nyon and will face the current Eliteserien league leaders, who were unbeaten in their Europa Conference League group.

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Celtic will play Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League.Celtic will play Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League.
Celtic will play Bodo/Glimt in the Europa Conference League.

The first leg will take place at Parkhead on February 17, with the second leg to be played at the Aspymra Stadion on February 24. The winners of the tie will advance to the last 16 in March.

The newly-formed Conference League has drawn widespread criticism but it provides the Hoops with an opportunity to play in European competition after Christmas.

The Glasgow giants finished third in their Europa League section behind winners Bayer Leverkusen, but ended their group stage campaign with a 3-2 victory over second-placed Real Betis last week.

FK Bodo/Glimt will prove somewhat of an unknown quantity to Celtic fans, but they thrashed Jose Mourinho’s Roma side 6-1 in October and narrowly missed out on finishing above the Italians by a point after securing three wins and three draws from their six group games.

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Former Celtic striker Andy Walker reckons Postecoglou’s men will not take Kjetil Knutsen’s side for granted.

Bodo Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen.  (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)Bodo Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen.  (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)
Bodo Glimt coach Kjetil Knutsen. (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

Speaking on Sky Sports, he said: “I remember listening to Jose Mourinho’s comments after that match and he was pretty scathing about his second string group of players.

“He felt there was a huge difference between his ideally preferred starting eleven and the players on the fringes behind them.

“We saw Celtic do the same in their last Europa League game against Real Betis and I thought they played some good football.

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“Everyone at Celtic wants the chance to play more European football and I think it’s a learning curve for them, especially the younger guys in the squad and for Ange Postecoglou.

“Ideally, Celtic will have a chance of competing in the Champions League in the not to distant future, but every European tie they play is an education.

“They won’t take this competition lightly at all. I know Bodo were one of the lowest ranked teams that Celtic could have played, but they’ve certainly shown that they can compete at a good level.”

Walker is intrigued to see if Postecoglou is given the financial backing in the upcoming January transfer window, which could significantly boost their domestic title hopes.

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He added: “I’ve really admired the way that he has come in and handled everything that has been thrown at him.

“He was under a great deal of pressure at the start of the season given the amount of turnaround in the playing squad.

“Celtic have got a number of injuries at the moment and it will be interesting to see if Ange gets the support he needs in the window.

“With a couple of new additions he might be able to push Rangers all the way in the Premiership title race.”

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