With the second round fixtures being completed last night we now know the lineup for the third round draw. After finally disposing of Gibraltar’s Lincoln Red Imps, Celtic now face a trickier tie in the way of Kazakhstan’s Astana. The hoops haven’t reached the group stages of the competition since the 2013-14 and Brendan Rodgers will be looking to be the man who returns them to Europe’s top club competition. Not qualifying for this competition ultimately seem to be the undoing of former manager Ronny Delia so Rodgers certainly won’t want to make his time at Celtic any more difficult than it needs to be.
Irish champions Dundalk are rewarded for their efforts in Iceland last night with a tie against Belarus’ BATE Borisov. BATE are regular qualifiers for the group stages so Dundalk are certainly going to have their work cut out if they are to progress any further. The New Saints conquerors APOEL Nicosia are faced with Norwegian side Rosenborg while Copenhagen who thumped Northern Ireland’s Crusaders 9-0 on aggregate are paired up with Astra Girugiu of Romania.
This part of the competition also sees 10 sides enter through the League Route – Ajax who stumbled out at this stage last season will go up against PAOK Salonika, while French side Monaco go up against Turkey’s Fenerbahce. Ukrainian giants Shakhtar are pitted against Young Boys of Switzerland.
Here is the draw in full: