THE winners of next season's Scottish Premiership are virtually guaranteed direct entry into the group stage of the 2022/23 Champions League thanks to Rangers' European run this term.

Steven Gerrard's side were knocked out at the round of 16 stage on Thursday night by Slavia Prague but despite their elimination, thier run has proved highly fruitful for the nation's coefficient.

With Ukrainian pair Dynamo Kiev and Shakhtar Donetsk also suffering defeats and dropping out of Europe midweek, this season's national coefficient is now locked in place and cannot change. Scotland has leapfrogged Ukraine, leaving our country in 11th place in the standings.

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That means that whichever clubs seals next season's title is all-but-guaranteed a berth in the group stages of the 2022/23 Champions League.

So long as the winners of the 2021/22 Champions League also qualify via their domestic league - which is a near certainty - Scotland's place in the group stage is secure.