The last time FC Copenhagen drew Celtic in European competition – in the 2006-07 Champions League group stage – the Gaelic community in the Danish capital queued around the block for tickets whilst fielding ‘conflict of interest’ questions from the Irish media!
Aidan Coogan, the Cork-born founder of Copenhagen Celtic, was a man in demand, recalling how he had started the club almost a century after its more illustrious predecessor in Glasgow.
He was adamant, of course, that he would not be supporting the home team.
Following a 0-1 loss at home to Malmö in their final Europa League group game – which would have ended the Lions’ progress had Lugano not surprisingly drawn away at Dynamo Kiev – FCK were unseeded heading into the draw, so they will be pleased they avoided the big fish in the tournament.
The first leg of the last-32 clash will take place at the Telia Parken Stadium on February 20, with the return leg at Celtic Park a week later.
Celtic are generally available at 40/1 to win the tournament, and FCK at 100/1. At Parken, both teams are rated 13/8 to win the game.
Thanks for the Finns
Overall, it has been a splendid fortnight for Denmark regarding football draws, as Euro 2020 is also shaping up nicely.
Denmark learned on November 30 that the fourth team in their group will be Finland (on June 13), a team that have never before qualified for a major tournament. Russia (June 22) and Belgium (June 18) are the other teams in Group B.
With the four best ranked third-placed teams advancing to the last 16, and all of Denmark’s group games being held at Parken, the home side’s prospects look good. However, should they top the group, their last-16 game will not be in Copenhagen.
In other news, Denmark are among the third seeds ahead of the 2022-23 Nations League draw on March 3, which is good news as UEFA has raised the number of teams in each group from three to four.