Navigating eight-game minefield will be bigger Rodgers feat than Celtic double-treble
When you look at the draw for the Champions League qualifiers on Monday, it underlines how difficult it will be for Celtic to make the group stages.
As announced on the official Champions League Twitter, the Hoops will face Armenian side Alashkert in the first round of qualifiers, with a potential tie against Rosenborg in the second round.
— UEFA Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) June 19, 2018
If the Hoops are fortunate enough to get past those first two rounds, then will then face another two ties to reach the group stages.
When you look at the difficulties of the ties – the oppressive heat of Armenia, then possibly Rosenborg who are well into their season – getting the Hoops into the Champions League proper would be the biggest achievement of Brendan Rodgers’ career so far in Glasgow.
It would rank greater than the unprecedented double treble as even though they were incredible achievements, the Hoops have by far the most resources in Scottish football. They should have won plenty of trebles.
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But qualifying for the Champions League is extremely difficult, especially when you factor in the fact that the games are at the start – or even before the start – of the domestic season, and also some key players will be missing some of the games due to their participation in the World Cup.
Rodgers has been hailed as a hero for what he has done for the Bhoys so far, winning the domestic treble twice, and getting to the Champions League two years in a row.
If he is able to get the Hoops into the group stages for the third season in a row, after eight gruelling matches, he would be verging on legendary status.