Paul Hartley thinks Celtic could win Europa League

By Connor Gordon

February 26, 2020

Former Celtic midfielder Paul Hartley thinks his old side could win the Europa League.

The Hoops face Copenhagen in the second leg of their last 32 tie tomorrow at Parkhead.

They are poised at a goal apiece but the Scottish champions have the all important away goal.

Celtic’s improved European performances this season is giving Hartley the confidence to make such a statement.

Paul Hartley on Celtic and Europa League

The Cove Rangers boss is sitting pretty at the top of the SPFL League 2 table.

Paul Hartley is top of Scottish League 2 with Cove Rangers. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Hartley was a high profile appointment having been a player for Celtic and Hearts as well as Dundee boss.

The ex-midfielder knows all about getting big results in Europe having made the last 16 with the Hoops.

The 43-year-old told the Daily Record that the current Celtic crop could make the star studied final.

He said: “They’ve got a good chance of going all the way.

“It comes down to the luck of the draw sometimes but they’re playing well and showing they are more than a match for anyone in the tournament.

Paul Hartley in action for Celtic against old club Hearts. (Photo by Tom Shaw/Getty Images)

“They’ve got a strong enough squad to compete in Europe and domestically. Just look at their bench now.”

Neil Lennon will have to rely on at least one of his subs tomorrow night against the Danish champions.

Captain Scott Brown doesn’t appear to be over an injury he picked up against Copenhagen last week.

Tom Rogic is the predictable choice to come into the fold with Callum McGregor continuing as captain in a deeper role.

Tomorrow’s tie is one that Celtic should be able to win on paper, but so was the match last week.

Will Tom Rogic come in for potentially injured Scott Brown? (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

The Celts started strong but faded away in the second half and allowed Copenhagen to net an equaliser.

Depending on how the second leg goes, Fraser Forster’s penalty save late in the match could also prove key.

If Celtic are going to go all the way as Hartley predicts, then they will need to continue their rich run of form and hope for a little bit of luck.