With UEFA Champions League Qualifiers approaching soon, Celtic have a distinct advantage over opponents for the qualification process for Group Stages.
Celtic will be looking to make the UEFA Champions League Group Stages this season for the first time in three years. The process will look a little bit different this time around due to the novel coronavirus and the impact it has had on the sport.
For starters, this season five substitutes for each club will be allowed during each match. Furthermore, the qualification process looks a little bit different as only one match will be played between clubs instead of the usual home-away ties. Both of these changes give the Hoops a massive advantage over many of the clubs they could potentially face in the Qualifier Rounds.
For starters, Celtic boasts one of the deepest squads in the Qualifying Rounds as evidenced by their latest match against Hibernian when the second squad got the run-out. That means that deep talent will be starting the match on the bench and with five subs available that allows Celtic to keep quality fresh legs on the pitch.
It will be hard for other clubs to match this type of bench quality. Additionally, the Hoops have notoriously had a difficult time with the second leg of European competition in recent years. Let’s take CFR Cluj for example last season. Cluj knocked Celtic out of the qualifying process for the Champions League in the second half of the tie. Furthermore, during the Europa League Group Stages, Cluj pulled one over on Celtic during the second leg.
Having to worry about one “winner takes all” match, which could possibly take place in Parkhead, will greatly benefit Celtic. These changes give us confidence that Celtic could see their way through to the UCL Group Stages in a season that could also be topped off by a 10th straight league championship. What a year this could be.