Scotland (and Rangers) are now relying on Fiorentina

Scotland (and Rangers) are now relying on Fiorentina
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 14: Connor Goldson of Rangers is consoled by Philippe Clement, Manager of Rangers, after the team's defeat in the UEFA Europa League 2023/24 round of 16 second leg match between Rangers FC and SL Benfica at Ibrox Stadium on March 14, 2024 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

We offer this as a slight correction to our earlier piece just to definitively (we hope) clear up this European slot saga.

As things sit, Scotland, thanks to Rangers, retain that 10th place in the coefficient standings, and our information before that Czechia had gone past us in the table was a little premature.

The reality is that Scotland remain 10th, with Czechia now just .250 points behind in 11th.

They have closed the gap thanks to last night’s results of Rangers losing and Viktoria Plzen scraping past Swiss side Servette (who Rangers also beat earlier this season) on penalties.

However, the ace up Plzen’s sleeve is that they now have the quarter finals of the Europa Conference. The downside for them is they face Italian giants Fiorentina, who are currently second favourites to win the whole thing, sitting 8th in Serie A.

So while the chances of Plzen getting even a draw against a solid Serie A team aren’t nil, they’ve been given almost the toughest quarter final they could have got.

But if they manage even a single draw in either leg against the Florence side, that’s it, that’s the 10th place secured for their country and Scotland lose that 2025/26 automatic group spot for the Champions League.

So thanks to Celtic’s horrible European fails the past 5 years, we could lose the UCL spot that Rangers worked single-handedly to earn this country should Plzen get that single draw.

If they don’t manage one, it’s survival by the skin of our teeth, with Celtic having contributed hee haw to the coefficient aside 19/20, with Aberdeen offering very little and likewise Hearts.

Rangers are mostly the sole reason Celtic enjoyed two Champions League failed campaigns by way of auto group spot in UEFA’s premiere tournament, and because of Parkhead’s inability to do a thing in Europe for a borderline decade, Rangers’ propping up of Scotland alone has only been able to last so far.

There’s also the 5-year coefficient – Scotland’s clubs were better in Europe in 19/20 and that season along with Rangers’ lone work since then is why we have 10th place, but it gets wiped next season onwards and Scotland could suffer a huge fall.

If Fiorentina do a big favour to Scotland and gub Plzen home and away, it’s a huge get out of jail card for next season for the title winners, and Scotland keeps that UCL spot for the season after next.

But after that… it’s anyone’s guess…

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