The huge Champions League advantage Rangers could have over Celtic if they beat PSV
Rangers now find themselves in the exact same position as they were this time last year, having to beat PSV Eindhoven to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage.
Giovanni van Bronckhorst was able to guide the club past the Dutch side 3-2 on aggregate after a 2-2 draw at Ibrox and a 1-0 win at the Philips Stadium. Michael Beale will look to replicate the accomplishment and this time the prize for doing so will be even better than it was 12 months ago.
That is because Rangers will book themselves a place in Pot 3 of the group stage draw this time around if they win their play-off tie. Last season their coefficient score of 50.250 made them the highest ranked club in Pot 4 but things are different this time around.
There is currently one spot remaining in Pot 3 and it will go to the highest ranked winner from the ‘League Path’ qualifying which will be one of Rangers, PSV, Braga or Panathinaikos. As the Gers’ score is better than the Portuguese and Greek sides, who face each other, they will be the team who take it if they win.
Meanwhile, Celtic’s path to Pot 3 is outwith their hands but they could still make it there. There are still two places up for grabs in the third pot and Celtic are currently the second highest ranked team who have already qualified for the groups with a score of 31.000 (Real Sociedad have 33.000).
That means it will depend on the results from the ‘Champions Path’ qualifiers but if any one of Young Boys, Copenhagen or Galatasaray win their respective ties then Celtic will be consigned to Pot 4. Here is how the pots for the group stage draw currently look:
- Manchester City
- Bayern Munich
- Paris Saint-Germain
- Real Madrid
- Manchester United
- Borussia Dortmund
- Atlético Madrid
- RB Leipzig
- Shakhtar Donetsk
- Red Bull Salzburg
- AC Milan
- Red Star Belgrade
- One ‘League Path’ winner (Rangers or Braga or PSV)
Pot 3 or Pot 4
- Real Sociedad
- Four ‘Champions Path’ winners
- One ‘League Path’ winner
- Newcastle United
- Union Berlin