Celtic to face some old friends & foes in Champions League

Celtic discovered their European fate on Thursday evening as they were drawn into the UEFA Champions League Group E. The Hoops were grouped alongside Dutch champions Feyenoord, Spanish side Atletico Madrid and Italian cracks Lazio.

Celtic have history with all three of those sides in European competitions and fans will be eager to get one up on some of Celtic’s old European foes.

This group stage draw also provided a much more favourable outcome to the draw than most supporters expected with fans a lot more positive after Thursday’s draw.




Things could have been a lot worse but it is still a tough set of fixtures. Here is the lowdown on Celtic’s Champions League Group E opponents.


Last season’s Eredivisie champions have plentiful options that can really hurt Celtic as well as a positive track record in recent European outings.

The side from Rotterdam reached the final of the 2022 UEFA Europa Conference League, losing out to Jose Mourinho’s Roma side in Tirana, Albania. They also lost out to the special one’s side in last season’s Europa League quarter-finals.

Manager Arne Slot has caught the eyes of some of Europe’s top sides with Spurs initially seeing the Dutchman as their top target before he rejected their approach, resulting in the Londoners turning their eyes towards a certain Ange Postecoglou.

Slot has assembled a great squad with the likes of Mexican forward Santiago Gimenez likely to cause the Celtic defence lots of problems. Midfielder Mats Wieffer has recently been capped by the Dutch national team with centre-back pairing Lutsharel Geertruida and David Hancko proving a very formidable partnership.

Celtic will be looking to avenge the 1970 European Cup final loss to the pot 1 side when the pair meet.

Atletico Madrid

A club the older generation of supporters despise due to 1974’s shame game.

Diego Simeone’s defensive approach to European football has come under much criticism from fans and pundits alike, but the success of his methods cannot be understated with Atletico reaching two Champions League finals in the last decade, losing both of those games to city rivals Real in extra-time and on penalties respectively.

The Spaniards have had an unbeaten start to their league campaign and this can be put down to the exploits of the likes of Antoine Griezman and Memphis Depay in the Atleti attack. As previously mentioned, Atletico are well-drilled defensively with Jose Gimenez at the heart of it and captain Koke in the midfield isn’t afraid to get involved in the defensive work either.


This is a club that Celtic have a recent history with, as Neil Lennon’s side completed the double over Lazio back in the 2019/20 season.

Lazio qualified for the Champions League after finishing second behind runaway leaders Napoli. Maurizio Sarri has brought the best out of I Biancocelesti and the exploits of marksman Ciro Immobile haven’t slowed down.

The captain is still one of the top strikers in Europe and is helped out by a stellar supporting cast consisting of Mattia Zaccagni and Felipe Anderson. Lazio have also had an impressive summer with the likes of Daichi Kamada from Eintracht Frankfurt and former Arsenal man Matteo Guendouzi moving to the Stadio Olimpico.

Celtic will be encouraged by Lazio’s poor start to their Serie A campaign with two defeats in two games against Lecce and newly-promoted Genoa having them sitting in 18th place.


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