Europa League preview: Spartak in turmoil, Leipzig impress
Rangers and Celtic's Europa League opponents are experiencing mixed fortunes.
Celtic and Rangers are preparing for crucial Europa League fixtures this Thursday.
Managers Brendan Rodgers and Steven Gerrard are getting set to face teams currently experiencing different fortunes.
The Hoops host Bundesliga high-fliers RB Leipzig at Celtic Park, while the Light Blues are in Moscow to take on an embattled Spartak side.
Here we run the rule over how the Glasgow pair's opponents have fared since the last round of matches:
'Evil forces' working at Spartak
Spartak visited Ibrox in crisis after sacking Massimo Carrera but managed to grind out a 0-0 draw.
The Moscow side haven't been able to steady the ship since then, though, with a fourth straight home league loss all but ending their hopes of defending the Russian title already.
A fortnight ago caretaker boss Raul Riancho rested some key players against Rangers in order to prepare for a crucial league fixture with Rubin Kazan.
That match ended 1-1, with a last-gasp strike by the home side pegging Spartak back.
Riancho bagged his first win next time out, defeating Anzi in the cup.
But a 2-1 loss to FC Ural on their own patch at the weekend has sent Spartak back into apparent disarray, with the Spanish head coach blasting the club's support in the aftermath.
Riancho was quoted as claiming Spartak fans were out to destroy the club and suggested an "external evil force" was behind their current woes.
Spartak hope they can ease the mounting pressure by putting together a European run, with Riancho putting Thursday's match into the "must-win" category.
Leipzig build from the back
Leipzig showcased their defensive solidity as they shut out Celtic to win 2-0.
That strong rearguard effort has been the platform for an impressive run of form of late, which sees them sitting fourth in the Bundesliga and just five points behind leaders Dortmund.
A comfortable 3-0 win away to Hertha Berlin at the weekend took RB's run of clean sheets to six matches in all competitions.
They have the best defensive record in the German top-flight, having shipped only nine goals across games.
At the top end of the pitch the news isn't quite so bright for the Parkhead visitors, however, as they have been dealt a twin injury blow.
Germany forward Timo Werner, who sat out the Hoops' visit to Leipzig, had found his shooting boots of late after scoring four goals in the last two games, but he misses out with a toe injury.
Towering attacker Youssouf Poulsen led the line impressively a fortnight ago but he's tweaked his back, leaving boss Ralf Rangnick short of options up front.