Celtic should be playing to a standard where they qualify for the Champions League year in and year out. Moussa Dembélé’s exit shows that if supporters want to see the best players in the club, then Champions League football is absolutely required.
In the meantime, the players may at least give the Europa League a go and give supporters something to cheer about.
Celtic has one of the more bizarre groups in the history of European competition with two teams at one point both owned by Red Bull squaring off against each other. The pairing of Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig in the same group has caused some controversy in the world of football.
However, Red Bull Salzburg is no longer owned by Red Bull, and the energy drink merely sponsors the team.
So, both Red Bull teams are allowed to compete in the same competition and play against each other.
The Celtic faithful would love to beat both teams as they are representative of big corporate money in football, and they represent what many believe is a new era in European football. Supporters are particularly sick off big money in football after Moussa Dembélé’s last-minute departure from the club directly before the last Glasgow derby.
Celtic still secured a 1-0 win over Rangers, but with the star striker leaving it will be more difficult than last season’s breeze to the title. This potentially puts the Europa League group on the backburner as Brendan Rodgers puts out full-strength teams in the league.
RB Leipzig is perhaps the highest quality opponent in the group, but they lost pivotal midfielder Naby Keita to Liverpool. Red Bull Salzburg were Austrian champions last season, but they failed to beat Red Star Belgrade to advance to the Champions League.
Finally, Rosenborg BK will face Celtic in the Europa League group stage. The Norwegian outfit won their league the last three years, but they have failed to make any waves in Europe. They are led by former Arsenal man Nicklas Bendtner up top.
The striker is the biggest name in the Norwegian league, but it remains to be seen if he still has enough in the tank to compete in Europe.
Celtic face Rosenborg first in a September 20th clash, and sports betting websites heavily favor the Scots to be the victors. A win in the first game could set Celtic up well to go further, but supporters may be wary of putting too much stock into the Europa League.
Celtic’s games against Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig will be more difficult than the trip to Norway. RB Leipzig will be the favorites in the group with their mixture of youth and experience.
Leipzig boasts the likes of German national team striker Timo Werner and Swedish star Emil Forsberg. The team’s ability to hold on to midfielder Kevin Kampl and defender Dayot Upamecano will likely prove to be pivotal moves to any European run.
Salzburg has also strengthened their squad, but Celtic supporters will be eyeing the matches against the Austrian team as winnable.
With Dembélé’s departure, it will be Leigh Griffith’s time to shine once again for Celtic. Griffiths will have to bag plenty of goals in both Europe and the league if Celtic hope to repeat past success.
Most supporters would likely prefer a league win over a deep run in the Europa League, but both could be on the horizon if Rodgers manages the team well. If Celtic advance from the group, the team should have the mentality that they can take down any opponent in their way.