The psychic energy generated by Celtic fans in defence of their chances of being seeded in the 2010-1011 Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round draw managed to reach and be effective in Switzerland where it helped Basel win 2-0 against Young Boys in Berne. The result gave Basel  the league title and left Young Boys ranked below Celtic.

Green and White Hoops win League sensation. Bursaspor Turkish delight

However by the time the psychic energy reached more distant Turkey the waves had lost their potency. Or more probably refused to work against a team wearing green and white hoops. In a night of extreme Turkish delight and extraordinary emotion green and white hooped Bursaspor won the Turkish Title for the first time beating Beziktas 2-1 while Fenerbahce could only draw 1-1 at home to Trabzonspor, coincidently the only other non-Istanbul team to ever win the Turkish League.

Despite the green and white link this outcome was very bad news for Celtic fans since it guaranteed that Celtic could not be one of the seeded teams in the 3rd Qualifying Round draw.

As a result of the weekends games in Europe GGW can now reveal that Celtic’s opponents in the 3rd Qualifying Round draw will be one of the following 6 clubs

Zenit win another Cup

1) Zenith St Petersburg who won the Russian Cup on Sunday. Rangers conquerors in the 2008 UEFA Cup Final have returned to top form after a post Final wobble

2) Ajax Amsterdam who had a scintillating second half of the season to finish second in Holland

3) Dynamo Kiev who narrowly lost the Ukranian League to 2009 UEFA Cup winners Shakhtor Donetz

4) Fenerbahce  who are formidable opponents in their Istanbul home, despite yesterday’s lapse

All these four teams would be best avoided as they would all pose a real challenge for a Celtic squad under new management.

The 5th potential opponents will be either

Unirea a team that won at Ibrox this season

a) Unirea Urizceni if they finish 2nd in the Romanian League, or

B)Braga if Unirea fail to be second.

Given that Unirea beat Rangers 4-1 at Ibrox last season on the way to finishing above Rangers in the Group Stage they would not be too despondent about another trip to Glasgow.

And Braga ran Benfica right to the wire in the Portuguese League playing an attractive brand of modern attacking football.

So avoiding the top 4 seeded teams mentioned above will not provide any option much easier.

If Celtic lose against whichever of these Clubs proves to be their 3rd Qualifying Round opponents then they will be put into the draw for the Playoff Round of the Europa League in which they will almost certainly be seeded, giving them an excellent chance of reaching the Europa League Group Stages.

If Celtic were to triumph in the 3rd Qualifying Round then as explained in the Post Celtic’s summer nightmare update of 16th May there is more knowledge about their likely opponents in the final Playoff Round. After the weekend’s results Sevilla , Sampdoria and Auxerre joined Werder Bremen and Spurs as the  sides from the big 5 leagues to have confirmed their places in the last 10. Sevilla, Werder and Spurs are ranked above Celtic. Zenit and Ajax will be the other two seeded teams if they win the first ties. It would require a far-fetched combination of results, involving 4 of the 3rd round seeded teams losing, for Celtic to be the opponents of Auxerre who are likely to be by far the weakest team in this group of 10. It is much more likely they will get one of the 5 probable seeds mentioned above.

The response of Celtic fans to the GGW posts of 6th and 16th May explaining the possible options was that very few were optimistic that Celtic would make it through two qualifying rounds to the Group Stages. In a collective outbreak of realism most Celtic supporters saw the Europa League as the much more likely and indeed desirable  forum for Celtic for next season.   If Celtic get to the Final Playoff Round of the Champions League but then lose, they will as last season get a guaranteed place in the Europa League Group Stages. Even at this stage Liverpool, Manchester City, Juventus, Atletico Madrid and Porto must be among the favourites for the 2010-2011 version. Any of these clubs would prove tasty opponents in the Group Stages but Celtic could be a reasonable bet to get through to the knockout stages in 2011