Updated: Aug 25
Updated 11am 25th August.
The draw for the Champions League Groups is on Thursday 25th August at 5pm and it's live on BT Sport 1.
Let's look at who Celtic could face and the probabilities of who Celtic could get.
Pots and teams listed below and I've ranked them by bookmaker odds (of winning the Champions League Outright) and then ranked by ELO rating if bookmaker odds are the same.
I've included where each team finished in Europe last year whether that was in the Champions League, Europa League or Europa Conference League. I then also included where each team finished in their domestic league and how many points they won the league by (if they were 1st) or how many points behind the league winners they were (if they were not the league winners).
The last column is the probability of Celtic drawing that team in the draw as things stand at the moment.
The probabilities will then change throughout the draw as teams are drawn out due to the fact that teams from the same country can't be in the same group and teams from the same country are paired so they can play on different nights (for TV purposes).
So in Pot 1 the most likely teams for Celtic to get are PSG and Ajax at 16.9% probability each and the least likely are Man City and Real Madrid at 10.1%. However if you combine the 2 German teams (the only country to have 2 teams in Pot 1) then Celtic have a 22% chance of drawing a German team. This would then rule out any German teams from Pots 2 and 3.
Eintracht Frankfurt are the 2nd lowest rated team (bookmaker odds) out of all the 3 Pots and are by far the easiest team to face from Pot 1. They are also the 2nd lowest for ELO rating out of the 3 Pots and they were 11th in the Bundesliga 35 points behind Bayern Munich. Porto would be the next best to draw and AC Milan and Ajax are part of the bottom quartet that would suit Celtic.
In Pot 2 Leipzig being the least likely on 11.5% and this is due to the increased likelihood of Celtic facing a German team (over other countries) in Pot 1. Juventus are the second least likely at 10.1% and all the others are the same.
Again their is a gap between the top quartet and bottom quartet but the main ones to avoid are Liverpool and Barcelona while Sevilla and Leipzig being the best ones to get.
In Pot 3 the probabilities are more varied than Pot 2 but not as much as in Pot 1. The most likely teams to face are Salzburg and Shakhtar Donetsk (15.4%) with the least likely to be faced are Dortmund and Leverkusen (9.8%) again due to the likelihood of getting a German team in Pot 1.
In fact Celtic are 51.1% likely to have a German team in their group with an English team (or Spanish team) next at 50.5% each, an Italian team at 44% and a Spain then it drops to 39% for Portugal and down to 17% and 15% for France, Holland, Austria and Ukraine.
In Pot 3 the ones to avoid are Inter, Dortmund and Napoli and the stand out one to get is Shakhtar Donetsk who have the lowest ELO rating of all the teams in the 3 Pots at 71.
For info Rangers ELO rating is 51 and Celtic's is 80.
The ELO ratings and European efforts last season for the other teams in Pot 4 are;
Marseille (Fra) 45 EL Group / ECL Semi Finals
Dinamo Zagreb (Cro) 76 CL Play Offs / EL Knock Out
Club Brugge (Bel) 79 CL Group 4th
Viktoria Plzen (Cze) 104 ECL Play Offs
Maccabi Haifa (Isr) 111 CL Qualifying Round / ECL Group 4th
FC Copenhagen (Den) 114 ECL Last 16
The lists above are purely based on bookmaker odds and ELO for easiness and I'm sure there will be many other preferences out there due to new signings etc etc.
To summarise it would be ideal for Celtic to get Eintract Frankfurt from Pot 1, any one of three from Atletico Madrid, Juventus and Sevilla in Pot 2 and Shakhtar Donetsk from Pot 3.
I've left out Leipzig from the ones to get from Pot 2 as they can't be drawn if Frankfurt are in the same group. If the team from Pot 1 is not Frankfurt or Bayern Munich then Leipzig would added to the ideal ones to get.
So Frankfurt, Sevilla and Shakhtar would be an ideal group.
It wouldn't be great if Celtic were drawn with any one of four from Man City, PSG, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid in Pot 1, any one from four from Liverpool, Barcelona, Chelsea or Spurs in Pot 2 and any one from three from Inter Milan, Borussia Dortmund and Napoli in Pot 4.
If Man City in Pot 1 then it couldn't be Liverpool, Chelsea or Spurs in Pot 2 and if Bayern Munch in Pot 1 it couldn't be Borussia Dortmund in Pot 4.
So the worst group would possibly be PSG, Liverpool and Inter Milan.
Although some of the more difficult ties may be the choice for some fans for the glamour of it or at least the away trip.
Taking the probabilities into account then (and some bad luck) I'm predicting a draw of PSG, Liverpool and Salzburg.
Celtic Trends 🍀📈⚽️