Monday, August 05, 2019

Scotland's UEFA Coefficient: 2019/20 Third-Round Preview

That went (mostly) well. All three remaining Scottish teams advanced, and they only dropped 0.25 total points based on two away draws. The road gets tougher from here, though.

Second Round Review

Celtic downed Nomme Kalju 5-0 and 2-0 to advance. They got an easy draw, and took advantage with full points.

Rangers built up a 2-0 lead on Progres Niederkorn before settling for a 0-0 away draw.

Aberdeen started with a 1-1 away draw to Chikhura Sachkhere before destroying them 5-0 at home.

That adds up to 1.25 points, and moving up to 19th place.

Third-Round Preview

Celtic (Elo 1566) faces Cluj (Elo 1572). Clubelo gives them a 49% chance of advancing.

Rangers (Elo 1508) faces FC Midtjylland (Elo 1539), so they should be slight underdogs.

Aberdeen (Elo 1399) is up against HNK Rijeka (Elo 1530), so they should be heavier underdogs.

Everybody's technically an underdog, so I'd say a good result is two wins, and more than 0.75 points. A bad result would be losing both Rangers and Aberdeen to European football before the playoff round. It would be reasonable to see Scotland anywhere from 17th to 21st after this round, although the low end would take a good bit of bad luck.

Playoff (Fourth) Round Sneak Peak

Celtic is up against Slavia Prague (Elo 1649) if they beat Cluj, so an even harder road the group stages of the Champions League. If they fall to Cluj, it's the winner of Sheriff Tiraspol (Elo 1304) and AIK (Elo 1539). So I expect them in the Europa League group stages one way or another, but it's not a pushover.

If Rangers upsets Midtjylland, they face the winner of Legia Warsaw (Elo 1403) or Atromitos (Elo 1468). They should be favored in either situation.

In the unlikely event Aberdeen progresses to the playoff round for the first time under the Europa League format, they have to take on Gent (Elo 1546) or Larnaca (Elo 1539). The draw never seems to be kind to Derek McInnes' club.

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