Champions League Playoff Draw: Liverpool & Celtic Learn Fate in Battle to Reach Group Stage
Liverpool, Napoli, Sevilla and Celtic are among the 20 clubs fighting for a place in this season's Champions League group stage to have learned their fate after the draw for the playoff round was made at UEFA HQ in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday.
Entering via the 'league route', Liverpool must now get the better of challenging German side Hoffenheim in order to take their place in the group stage for the first time since 2014.
Brendan Rodgers was the man in charge the last time the Reds were in the competition, and his current Celtic team - from the 'champions route' - will now face FC Astana from distant Kazakhstan after successfully navigating two qualifying rounds already.
2017/18 Champions League Playoff Round Draw in Full:
Qarabag vs Copenhagen
APOEL vs Slavia Prague
Olympiacos vs HNK Rijeka
Celtic vs Astana
Hapoel Be'er Sheva vs NK Maribor
Istanbul Basaksehir vs Sevilla
Young Boys vs CSKA Moscow
Napoli vs OGC Nice
Hoffenheim vs Liverpool
Sporting CP vs Steaua Bucharest
First leg ties will be played on 15/16 August, with returns one week later on 22/23 August.
The 10 winners of these playoff ties will enter the group stage alongside the 22 clubs who qualified automatically, with the group stage draw to be made in Monaco on 24th August.