Glamour or glory???
The Europa League Play-Off draw is a bit of a mixed bag for the Scottish teams but hopefully at least two of the three clubs can get through.
It does look grim for Hearts although Harry Redknapp’s promise to play youngsters and squad players in the Europa League may give an outside chance. Then again, people shouldn’t believe a single world that Harry Redknapp says so who knows what team will line-up against the Jambos. Regardless of the line-up, it should be a good trip for Hearts fans and one that should create a lot of memories.
Rangers seemed to have got the most straight-forward of ties in NK Maribor but then again, that was what would have been said after they were drawn against Malmo! The Slovenian side will provide a robust challenge to Rangers but you really would have to think that Ally McCoist’s men will have enough to get through the tie. Then again, with just one European win in 23 games, no one at Ibrox should be taking this tie too lightly.
Maribor have played three league games this season, winning them all by a 2-1 score line, sitting second in the league (Maribor have a GD of +3 whereas Domzale have a GD of +7).
Celtic however are off to Switzerland to face FC Sion. The Swiss side finished fourth in their league but defeated Neuchatel Xamax in the Cup final. The internet is already abuzz with the fact that FC Sion hold the world record for winning all 12 cup final appearances they have made. The ground is a 16,5000 capacity so there may well be a limit on the travelling support that make it across to Switzerland.
Again, Celtic should have every reason to feel as though they can progress to the group stages but with their form in Europe not being great, especially on the road, there should be nothing taken for granted.
The Uefa site indicated that both Glasgow sides were drawn away from home in the first leg, suggesting both would be at home in the second leg but there may be a switch to one of the ties. In short, don’t go booking flights until the legs are confirmed!