16 December 2019 16:44

CELTIC will face Copenhagen in the Europa League last 32 while Rangers have been paired with Braga.

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Celtic and Rangers were handed favourable draws in the last-32 of the Europa League. The Ladbrokes Premiership league leaders were handed a tie with Danish side FC Copenhagen, while Steven Gerrard's side were pitted with Portugal's Braga. Copenhagen are trailing an FC Midtjylland side which Rangers knockout out in the qualifiers by seven points in the Danish Superliga. The 13-time league winners, who count Niklas Bendtner amongst their ranks, fell at the third qualifying round of the Champions League to Red Star Belgrade. They finished behind Malmo but ahead of Dynamo Kyiv in their Europa League group, scoring just five goals.

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Meanwhile, Braga are sitting ninth in the Primeira Liga, 14 points worse off than Porto, whom Rangers beat 2-0 in Glasgow and drew 1-1 in Portugal. They have few standout stars in their squad but are experienced operators in this competition and finished above Wolverhampton Wanderers in the group. Yet, neither team should spook Celtic and Rangers. If the Glasgow duo were to progress from their ties scheduled to take place in February it would set up the possibility of a last-16 Old Firm double header. However, that and seeding play no part in the draw going forward, opening up the possibility for two huge matches between Celtic and Rangers.

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Sandwiched between the two fixtures is a league derby with Celtic travelling to Ibrox on Sunday, 15 March. CELTIC will face Copenhagen in the Europa League last 32 while Rangers have been paired with Braga. They will then face Copenhagen - who are second in the Danish league - at Parkhead a week later on Thursday February 27. And that means Neil Lennon's side will play their first leg away in Denmark on February 20. The Scottish champions will then have home advantage at Parkhead a week later on February 27.

The Portuguese side topped Group K which included Wolves, Slovan Bratislava and Besiktas. Steven Gerrard's side narrowly missed out on top spot in Group I and will face Braga at home in the first leg on February 20. They'll then travel to Portugal for the return leg which Braga have confirmed will be played on Wednesday 26 February, with Porto also in action against German cracks Bayer Leverkusen. Rangers avoided heavyweights Manchester United, Arsenal, Sevilla, Inter Milan and Ajax, with group winners Porto being paired with German cracks Bayer Leverkusen. Celtic also could have been handed a more difficult tie against the likes of Wolves, Sporting Lisbon and Roma. Former Wolves manager is now on his second spell as Copenhagen boss. STAR MAN: Dame N'Doy. Senegal international striker is their top scorer this season with eight goals in ten games. ROUTE TO LAST 32: Finished second in their group behind Malmo, but only won two of their six games which was enough to eliminate Dynamo Kiev. Red Star Belgrade knocked them out of Champions League qualifying, but they beat Riga FC to qualify for the Europa League Group Stages. INTERESTING FACT: Copenhagen have played in Scotland twice and have yet to score. They lost 1-0 to Celtic in the Champions League in 2006 and 4-0 to Aberdeen in the UEFA Cup in 2007. HONOURS: Portuguese league runners-up once, Portuguese Cup winners twice, Europa League runners-up once. Star striker netted 17 goals last season which helped them to a fourth place in the league. Beat Brondby and Spartak Moscow home and away in the Europa League qualifying rounds. Liverpool are the defending champions (Picture: Getty) Jurgen Klopp believes Diego Simeone won't have been happy to learn Atletico Madrid had drawn Liverpool in the Champions League knockout stages. Liverpool take on Atletico in the last 16 of the competition, with the first leg in Madrid and the second meeting at Anfield. The Reds are the defending champions and Klopp reacted to the news his side had been paired with Simeone's side. 'It's an interesting draw, Before the draw I actually thought it would be Madrid – either one of the two clubs – and that's the way it is,' Klopp said from Qatar, where Liverpool are taking part in the Club World Cup. Simeone and his side travel to Liverpool for the second leg (Picture: Getty) 'Madrid is the place where we only have fantastic memories, all of us, so that's great, but this time we play Atletico there and it's their home ground. 'It's a tough one, but if you go through all of the draws, there are pretty much four or five potential finals already in the last 16. A difficult game like it should be, but how we most of the time think and say, I don't think Mr Simeone is running through his living room and is happy that he got Liverpool. Atletico is a tricky last-16 tie for Liverpool, who would have been hoping for easier opponents. But Klopp thinks it is better for his team to face strong opposition right from the off in the knockout stages. Liverpool won the Champions League at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium last June (Picture: Getty) 'It's good, it's good because that's what the Champions League should be. 'It feels like a day since we did the job in the group stage, but it's a week ago. 'It's still fresh and we were really happy that night and we're still happy that we can face a strong opponent in this round now.' MORE: Champions League draw: Liverpool face Atletico, Chelsea meet Bayern & Man City face Real Madrid KyivPost.com uses cookies. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. Without cookies, you will see a limited version of the website.