Celtic v Hamburg Preview: Celtic fighting to survive in Europe

You can watch Celtic v Hamburg Live online here.

Celtic v Hamburg
Europa League
Hampden Park
Thursday 22nd October 20:05 BST

Bottom of UEFA Europa League Group C after two games, Celtic FC will be wary of being cast adrift as fellow former European champions Hamburger SV return to Glasgow, where they won 2-0 on their only previous visit.

Scottish aspirations in Europe have taken a real beating this season, with Rangers suffering two back to back 1-4 home defeats in the Champions League. Celtic will face a similar drubbing if they are off the boil in this crucial Europa League game with Hamburg, whom they also play in two weeks in Germany.

Then again, given Hamburg’s injury problems, this game couldn’t have come at a better time for Celtic – a win here and they could kickstart their European campaign into action.

Celtic Preview

Celtic were disappointed to be held to a goalless draw of their own at home to Motherwell, a result that allowed Rangers to take over at the top of the Scottish Premier League. Netherlands international Loovens was suspended for that game, although he would have probably missed out through injury in any case.

However, a clean sheet could encourage manager Tony Mowbray to stick with Gary Caldwell and Stephen McManus as his central defensive pairing – an area where Celtic have been uncharacteristically vulnerable this season. Hinkel will vie with Mark Wilson for the right-back spot and the German’s experience of playing against his countrymen could hold sway.

Celtic (from): Boruc, Naylor, Caldwell, Wilson, Loovens, Hinkel, McCourt, McManus, S Brown, Robson, Zheng, McGeady, McGinn, Samaras, Maloney, McDonald, Crosas, Caddis, Zaluska, Thompson, N’Guemo.

Europa League Live

Hamburg Preview

Defender Jerome Boateng is the latest injury worry for Hamburg, who already have eight first-team players missing.
Three of those are strikers – Mladen Petric, Jose Paolo Guerrero and Tolgay Arslan, who was forced off with an injury during Saturday’s 0-0 draw at home to Bayer Leverkusen.

Guerrero is one of four players who will miss the game in Glasgow after suffering torn cruciate knee ligament injuries, the others being defenders Alex Silva, Collin Benjamin and Miroslav Stepanek.

The long-term loss of Bastian Reinhardt has also reduced Hamburg’s defensive options, while midfielder Romeo Castelen is another injury absentee.

Celtic v Hamburg Prediction

The last time these two teams met was in the 1996/97 UEFA Cup first round, when the late Tommy Burns’s Celtic barely laid a glove on Felix Magath’s Hamburg in their last meeting, losing 2-0 home and away.

Celtic sit bottom of Europa League Group C with a point and a solitary goal after following a defeat by Hapoel Tel-Aviv with a home draw with Rapid Vienna.

Hamburg are second with three points, having lost to the Austrians and beaten the Israelis.

Celtic’s home advantage coupled with Hamburg’s injury crisis could give the Hoops an opportunity to turn their season around, but both sides look likely to concede goals.

Prediction: Celtic 2-1 Hamburg

You can watch Celtic v Hamburg Live online here.

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