THE RUSSIAN REFEREE who oversaw heavy defeats for Celtic at the hands of European giants Barcelona and Bayern Munich will take charge of the Hoops’ clash with Copenhagen. 

Sergey Karasev, 40, was the man in the middle when Neil Lennon’s Bhoys succumbed to a chastening 6-1 defeat at the Camp Nou in December 2013, with goals from Gerard Pique, Pedro, Rodrigo Tello and a Neymar hat-trick doing the damage in the Champions League fixture. 

He was back on Celtic duty four years later at the Allianz Arena as strikes by Thomas Muller, Joshua Kimmich and Mats Hummels secured a 3-0 triumph for Bayern in the same competition. 

The Scotland national team have fared little better under the man dubbed ‘the Russian Collina’ due to his bald head and imposing frame, limping to a 1-1 draw against Macedonia at Hampden during qualification for World Cup 2014. 

Karasev will be assisted by compatriots Igor Demeshko, Maksim Gavrilin and Celtic’s first taste of VAR will be in the hands of Vitali Mashkov and Sergei Ivanov. Sergei Lapochkin has been named fourth official.

Meanwhile, Spanish whistler Javier Estrada Fernandez will be back on Scottish soil for the second time in less than two years after being assigned to Rangers’ last-32 encounter against classy Braga. 

The 44-year-old oversaw Celtic’s memorable 2-1 victory against German side RB Leipzig at Parkhead in November 2018, with Odsonne Edouard’s dramatic late effort securing a fine Europa league result. 

Fernandez also took charge of St Johnstone's 1-1 draw against Spartak Trnava in 2014 that saw the Perth outfit agonisingly crash out of the Europa League at the third qualifying stage courtesy of a 3-2 aggregate defeat.

The assistant referees will be Teodoro Sobrino, Inigo Prieto, while Jose Maria Sanchez and Raul Cabanero will be in the VAR booth. Pablo Gonzalez Fuertes will act as fourth official.