When are the European draws and where do Scottish clubs stand?

Motherwell are the first Scottish team to learn their European fate.

When are the European draws and where do Scottish clubs stand? SNS Group

Motherwell go into the draw for Europa Conference League qualifying on Wednesday to learn their second round opponents as Scottish clubs’ involvement in continental competition draws near.

Our five representatives are spread across three different tournaments and join the action at different stages.

Scotland’s co-efficient rise in recent seasons mean we’ll have at least three teams involved in group stage football and each will have their own ambitions as well as flying the flag for the nation.

We’ve put together a reminder of who enters what competition at what point, and when they’ll find out who they face.


Motherwell are in Wednesday's Conference League draw. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

Competition: Europa Conference League

Entry point: Second qualifying round

Draw date: June 15 at 12pm

The Steelmen will be the first Scottish side playing in Europe this season.

Motherwell are seeded in the Main Path of the draw and could face a team that qualifies from the first round, or any of the unseeded sides, with Viking, AIK and Levski Sofia among the many, many possibilities.

The tie will be played on July 21 and July 28, with the club to find out on Wednesday if they are home or away first.

Success would put Motherwell in the third qualifying round, wehere they would not be among the seeds, and there would then be a play-off to negotiate to reach the group stage.

Dundee United

Dundee United are in Europe for the first time in a decade. (Photo by Craig Foy / SNS Group)

Competition: Europa Conference League

Entry point: Third qualifying round

Draw date: July 18

Dundee United enter the competition a round later thanks to their higher league position.

The Tannadice side will be unseeded and this stage of the competition is where things start to get a lot trickier.

Anderlecht, Twente Enschede and Wolfsberger are among the teams already in the draw, and Basel, Slavia Prague and Young Boys will be favourites to get through their own second round ties and take their place as possible opponents.

Regardless of who they play, the third round games are scheduled for August 4 and 11.


Hearts can look forward to group stage football this season. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)SNS Group

Competition: Europa League

Entry point: Play-off round

Draw date: August 1

Hearts already have the guarantee of a place in the Europa Conference League group stage if they lose out in Europa League qualification but Robbie Neilson and his players don’t want to settle for a consolation prize.

As a ‘priority 1’ side in the convoluted draw process, Hearts will avoid the teams dropping down from the Champions League third round but could face a team from either the main path of qualifying or the champions path (teams who dropped down from Champions League second qualifying round).

There’s a lot of football to be played before Hearts are anywhere close to knowing who they could play but they do know they’ll play their matches on August 18 and 25.


Rangers enjoyed a run to the Europa League final last season. (Photo by Craig Williamson / SNS Group)SNS Group

Competition: Champions League

Entry point: Third qualifying round

Draw date: July 18

After their thrilling run to the Europa League final last season, Rangers are targeting an extended stay in the top tier competition and the prestige (and money) that comes with the Champions League group stages.

That means clearing two hurdles though, with the Ibrox club going in at the third qualifying round.

Rangers will be in the league path, coming up against other teams that finished high in their country’s league but weren’t title winners. Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side will be seeded in both the third round and the play-off if they get through.

Most of the potential third round opponents are already known, since only eight teams are in the league path at that stage. Rangers can’t face fellow seeds PSV Eindhoven, Benfica or the winners of Dinamo Kyiv’s second round tie.

That means the team will play Monaco, Sturm Graz, Union Saint-Gilloise or the winners of Midtjylland’s second round match.

If Rangers were to lose at that stage, a place in the Europa League groups would be the consolation.

Third round ties will be played on August 2/3 and 9.


Celtic's title win has brought major benefits in Europe. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)SNS Group

Competition: Champions League

Entry point: Group stage

Draw date: August 25

After growing used to the perennial qualification trials and a short summer break, Celtic’s bonus prize for winning the Premiership title was to skip the preliminary rounds and go straight to the Champions League group stages.

Ange Postecoglou’s side know they have six games guaranteed against Europe’s elite, and will face at least one huge name but the identity of their opponents will remain a mystery until late August.

Celtic will be in pot four of the seedings and there are no easy draws in the competition. Among the most tantalising for fans of glamour games: Real Madrid, Liverpool and Inter Milan is a possible combination, and Manchester City, Barcelona, Borussia Dortmund another.

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