WITH four games down, Celtic have achieved the minimum criteria for their Europa League adventure: guaranteeing European football after Christmas.

Ange Postecoglou hasn’t had it easy in Europe being drawn against two teams whose budgets that far exceed Celtic's and an old foe from last season who dumped Neil Lennon’s poor side out of the Champions League.

This draw, combined with a full squad of fresh faces adapting to a new system and even an injury crisis for some of the games, brought up fears relating to what happened in Europe last season. However, the manager was able to navigate these hurdles and an outside chance of coming second in the group even remains.

From a data perspective, Celtic’s group has been box office compared to most of the others with sides trying to play expansive, entertaining football. This has resulted in lots of goals and high-scoring matches.

Celtic Way:

In terms of goals scored Celtic rank sixth overall in the tournament, matching Real Betis’s tally of eight. That number puts them ahead of the likes of Brendan Rodgers' Leicester City and La Liga leaders Real Sociedad.

When looking at expected metrics Celtic are performing around where would be anticipated, with just a slight underperformance of 0.84 xG to the actual total, the fifth-highest in the tournament.

Their main competitors in the group have found much more luck in front of goal, with both of the top two overperforming. Betis, who are most likely to squeeze into second place, rank only 12th in xG compared to sixth in goals showing their strong quality - and perhaps fortune - in front of goal so far.

Offensively, Celtic have shown they are able to compete with the very best at this level but it’s a different story at the back.

Celtic Way:

Showing the openness of the group is fairly simple with the Hoops, along with Ferenvacos, conceding the most so far in the group stages. Betis aren’t much better and sit one place off bottom spot in terms of goals conceded.

READ MORE: Soft Celtic concessions fail to dim dominant attacking display at Dens Park - tactical match report

Leverkusen have been clinical in front of goal but, at the back, they have been fortunate so far. They have the second-best defensive record but in terms of xGA they rank 23rd with an overperformance of -4.63xGA. When looking at xGA, the four teams are almost identical ranking close to each other from 23rd to 27th.

Celtic, much like the teams outside Leverkusen, may feel hard done by so far with all three underperforming their expected metrics. With only two games left to go you'd have to hope it evens out for the Hoops as performances continue to improve.

Overall, Postecoglou and Celtic can be happy with their European adventure so far. The most likely outcome at the moment is finishing third which would result in a drop into the Europa Conference League.

If this is where they end up, a combination of some good draws and a strong January transfer window could give Celtic an outside chance at going for silverware in Europe... who could have imagined that way back at the start of July?