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Rangers and Celtic learn Europa League group stage opponents

Steven Gerrard and Ange Postecoglou know who their sides will be playing this season.

Rangers and Celtic learn Europa League group stage opponents SNS Group

Celtic and Rangers have learned the identity of their Europa League group stage opposition after the competition draw was held by UEFA on Friday.

Scottish champions Rangers have been drawn to play against Olympique Lyonnais, Sparta Prague and Brondby.

Celtic will face Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen, Real Betis and Ferencvaros.

“I guess that’s reward for Thursday night and over two legs against a very good team in AZ, that we could look forward to the draw, and with the calibre of team we are going to be up against, I am super excited,” Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou said.”We are going to have some fantastic nights, particularly here at Celtic Park, so I am looking forward to it.”

Both Scottish sides began the season in Champions League qualifying but suffered disappointment in the elite competition before successfully coming through Europa League play-offs.

The format of the competition has changed since UEFA introduced the new Conference League competition. Group winners will still advance to the knockout stage, but runners-up now face an extra game before the last 16.

The second-placed teams now go through to a knock-out round play-off in February where they would face one of the teams dropping down from the Champions League. Third-placed teams will drop into the Conference League’s knock-out round play-off.

Group stage matches begin on September 16 and run until December 6.