"I would like to see Celtic win"; Experienced German coach makes allegiances known for Thursday

By David Walton

November 24, 2021

Experienced German coach and former Celtic defender Andreas Hinkel has made his allegiances known ahead of Thursday night’s class against Bayer Leverkusen.

Celtic head off to Germany looking to bag a major result that would reignite their Europa League last-32 qualification hopes. With Real Betis bagging a point in their double-header vs Bayer, Celtic need something tomorrow night.

A point would be a fine result. However, we can still afford to lose the match so long as Real Betis slip up against Ferencvaros at home on the same evening.

Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Ideally, Celtic take care of their own business without relying on any favours from the Hungarians. And as he looked ahead to the game, former Stuttgart and Spartak Moscow coach Hinkel has stated he wants to see a Hoops win.

As quoted by the Daily Record, Hinkel said: “You have to say all of the statistics point in the direction of Leverkusen. But I am always optimistic and always positive about things, so maybe this is the time for Celtic to make that history.

“They can maybe surprise the people. It is always interesting when no-one is counting on you or thinking you will win a game. But I think there is a chance because of the things I have said before. Celtic may have more self-confidence at the moment.

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“I would like to see a Celtic win, but even a draw would be a good result, even if it might not be enough for the next stage of the Europa League if Real Betis win their match.”

Andreas Hinkel backing Celtic to spring a shock in Leverkusen

Hinkel knows a thing or two about coaching himself of course. He’s actually an extremely experienced tactician already.

He spent 6 years coaching VFB Stuttgart at various age groups before a 2-year spell working in Russia as an assistant boss at Spartak Moscow. These days, he’s still looking for his next big project.

However, he certainly still sees a chance for Celtic in Germany. That’s reassuring given it’s coming from someone who sees Bayer on a consistent basis.

Photo by NEIL HANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Celtic of course proved that they can cut Leverkusen open at will back at Parkhead. Even though we were on the end of a 4-0 pasting, it very easily could’ve finished 4-4 had we taken the opportunities we created. Celtic have no plans to enter the BayArena as lambs to the slaughter.

Even if we escaped with a point then it would keep our European hopes going. That would still mean all we would have to do is beat Real Betis at Celtic Park whilst keeping them down to less than 3 away goals on the night.

There’s an opportunity here for us to go and grab. Europa Conference League football may have already been achieved, but the truth is we’re wanting the Europa League last-32 spot. Tomorrow night will give us a stronger indication of what direction we’re heading in.

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