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Page last updated at 17:21 GMT, Monday, 14 September 2009 18:21 UK

Hinkel tips Celtic for Euro glory

Celtic defender Andreas Hinkel
Hinkel was in the Sevilla team that won the Uefa Cup in 2007

Celtic defender Andreas Hinkel insists his team have a chance of going all the way in the Europa League.

The Scottish Premier League side dropped into the competition after being beaten by Arsenal in the Champions League play-off round.

"I think we can do it because I don't see a strong team like Arsenal in this competition," said Hinkel.

"There are very good teams in it but I think we can win against these teams. In this competition, everyone can win."

The 27-year-old believes the range of teams that have in recent years won the Uefa Cup, which has been replaced by the Europa League, gives hope to teams like Celtic.

"In the Champions League it is always five or six teams who can win and you know who they are before it starts," added the German international.

"But the Uefa Cup was different. Last season it was Shakhtar who won, before that it was Zenit St Petersburg, and Sevilla also won the competition.

"And there were very good teams in it. Bayern Munich were in it, Tottenham as well. They could've won it but they didn't."

Hinkel on Old Firm Euro chances

He added: "In the Uefa Cup and the Champions League, small things decided games. I remember when I won the Uefa Cup with Sevilla, it was so tight.

"We played an away game in Shakhtar Donetsk and we were nearly out and then our goalkeeper scored in the last minute and we won the competition."

Celtic's Group C campaign begins on Thursday against Hapoel Tel-Aviv at the Bloomfield Stadium in Israel and Tony Mowbray's side will also face Hamburg and Rapid Vienna in the group stage.

And Hinkel expects the German side to be Celtic's toughest opponents.

"Hamburg are confident at the moment," he said. "They have a strong side, a big squad, a good squad. It's the tightest rival.

606: DEBATE

"We have to win our home games and I think we can do something away from home as well. We have to be confident that we can go through.

"We want to win more away games. In the last few years, Celtic have not won a lot of away games.

"We have the quality to win away games."



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see also
Rough guide to Group C
29 Aug 09 |  Celtic
Mowbray warns of tough Euro draw
28 Aug 09 |  Europe
British trio discover Europa fate
28 Aug 09 |  Europe


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