Celtic are very close to winning the league title, and some good news have emerged in the last 24 hours about Celtic’s prospects of playing in the Champions League group stages.

ESPN FC editor Dale Johnson reported on Twitter that the Scottish champions will go directly into the group stages as no Russian teams will be allowed to participate in UEFA club competitions next season.

That news about the Champions League should provide Celtic when even more motivation – if it was needed – to get the league title won as soon as possible.

Getting into the Champions League group stages could be transformative to the Hoops for a number of reasons. For a start, it would be great for the club prestige wise, as Celtic have not made the group stages since season 2017/18.

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The Bhoys would also earn a lot of money playing in the group stages, and that can only be a good thing for the club. A higher standard of players could also be signed by Celtic if the Hoops are in the Champions League.

The chances of signing Jota and Cameron Carter-Vickers on a permanent basis could well increase if the Hoops are able to offer them the chances to play in Europe’s biggest club competition.

It will also be a test of Ange Postecoglou’s managerial capabilities. The Hoops boss has for the most part been an excellent manager for the Bhoys, but he is still a bit of an unknown when it comes to his performances in European competiton.

Facing the best teams in Europe will be a real test for the Celtic manager, and it is one that he would no doubt relish, as if he succeeds in Europe it would be a proof that he is one of the best managers around.

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Obviously Celtic won’t need that much motivation to get the league title won, the players will be desperate to get the title win confirmed, and a win over Hearts on Saturday will all be secure the title.

However, the Champions League news could add that extra bit of motivation for everyone at Celtic Park, as the players will be eager to show that they deserve to play on the big stage.

Very few of the Celtic players have played in the Champions League group stages, and if the Hoops go on to win the Premiership title, the vast majority of the Hoops squad will have the chance to take on the best teams in Europe, and that is something that they will relish.