sport

Celtic await European draw

Celtic boss Ronny Deila could make a quick return to former club Stromsgodset when the draw for the UEFA Champions League qualifiers is made at 11am this morning.

The Norwegian champions are among the possible opponents awaiting Celtic, who are aiming to reach the lucrative group stages of the competition for the third successive season.

Swedish side Malmo, who have eliminated the last two Scottish club's they faced in European qualifiers, are another team Celtic could play.

Celtic could also return to Solitude for the second season running, should they draw Cliftonville, while St Patricks from Dublin, New Saints from Wales or Torshavin of the Faroe Islands also lie in wait.

Former Celtic skipper Tom Boyd is confident Celtic will progress, and he is hopeful the team can avoid the stresses of last year, when they had to overturn a 2-0 deficit to eliminate Shakhtar Karagandy of Kazakhstan.

In the return match at Celtic Park Kris Commons and Georgios Samaras levelled the tie before James Forrest hit an injury-time winner.

Boyd said: The qualification rounds should go okay in terms of the teams they could come up against.

\"Celtic will be seeded but there are always hidden dangers lurking in the draws as they almost found out with Shakhtar Karagandy last season.

\"The demands are very high at a club like Celtic and down the years the supporters have been treated to so many wonderful things, especially in the Champions League.

\"I hope Ronny Deila can sustain that success and qualify for the Champions League group stages. If he can achieve that at the first time of asking it would go a long way to helping him find his feet and settle at Celtic.\"

Meanwhile, Motherwell are seeded for the Europa League qualifying rounds, and Stuart McCall's side could come up against Ferencvaros of Hungary, Slovakian side Kosice and Jagodina of Serbia.

Scottish Cup winners St Johnstone are unseeded and should face a tougher task with the likes of Spartak Moscow, CSKA Sofia, Rosenborg and Bursaspor in the draw.