Leverkusen seek direct entry into EL last 16 against Celtic

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Bayer Leverkusen have an extra incentive to beat Celtic in the Europa League on Thursday because that would send them straight through to the last 16. Under new rules after the competition was trimmed from 48 to 32 teams the eight group winners advance into the last 16 while runners-up face third-placed teams from the Champions League in two-legged play-offs for the remaining eight spots. Unbeaten Leverkusen top Group G three points ahead of Real Betis and, having won the head to head against the Spaniards, will be confirmed group winners if they beat Celtic. “The new regulation naturally prov…

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