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Page last updated at 13:42 GMT, Sunday, 18 October 2009 14:42 UK

Benji eyes second spot for Hibs

Hibernian striker Abdessalam Benjelloun
Benjelloun almost moved to Egyptian club Al Ahly in the summer

Hibernian striker Abdessalam Benjelloun believes his team has a good chance of splitting the Old Firm this season.

"This year Rangers and Celtic and all the teams are similar so I think everyone can win and lose," said the Morocco international player.

"It's not the same as before when the Old Firm were far away from the other clubs in the Scottish Premier League.

"We have good players to play very good football. So I think this year we have a chance to be second or maybe third."

The 24-year-old is back at Easter Road after spending last season on loan with Belgian clubs Charleroi and Roselare as he had fallen out of favour with then Hibs manager Mixu Paatelainen.

However, under new boss John Hughes, Benjelloun has enjoyed an upturn in fortunes and scored the only goal of the game in Saturday's win over Kilmarnock.


His team could sit on top of the table after next weekend if they beat current champions Rangers at Ibrox, and Celtic drop points away to Hamilton.

But, although the Moroccan thinks Hibs can compete with both Glasgow clubs he is cautious of title talk.

"I don't want to say champions but maybe second or third," he added.

"Celtic drew this weekend, which was good, and Rangers won but we have a chance to go and beat them because, as I said, the level is the same.

"When Rangers are at home or away, they can lose."

Benjelloun was late returning to Hibs this summer and angered Hughes by trying to engineer a move to Egyptian club Al Ahly but has started the last two matches at Easter Road.

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see also
Hibernian 1-0 Kilmarnock
17 Oct 09 |  Scottish Premier
Al Ahly will not sign Hibs' Benji
26 Jul 09 |  Hibernian

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