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‘ASTANA OWE CELTIC ONE,’ SAYS LOAN STAR

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ASTANA new boy Laszlo Kleiheister reckons his team-mates “owe Celtic one” as they prepare for tomorrow night’s Champions League play-off first leg at Parkhead.

A stoppage-time penalty-kick by Moussa Dembele gave Brendan Rodgers’ side a 3-2 aggregate victory over the Kazakhstan outfit to dump them out of Europe.

Hungarian International midfilder Kleinheisler, who has joined on loan from Werder Bremen, said: “I believe I have signed for a very good team and ambitious club.

“Previously, I had only played in the Europa League qualifiers during my time in Hungary with Videoton. These games coming up against Celtic will be a great platform and opportunity to show what we can do on the European stage.

“I am always very motivated when it comes to massive games like these. I’m aware of what happened last year with the last-minute goal.

“Perhaps some of my team-mates will feel they owe Celtic for that one! We certainly want to show that we deserve to play in the Champions’ League group stages.”

Astana have qualified just once for the group stages in the 2015/16 season where they managed four draws from their six games.

They held Benfica, Atletico Madrid and Galatasaray at home – also drawing with the Turkish side away – ending their campaign with four points.

The Kazakhs eliminated the Hoops’ old foes foes Legia Warsaw last month in an impressive 3-2 aggregate win.

Kleinheisler reckons the victory over the Poles has given Astana confidence and isn’t intimidated about the prospect of 60,000 fans at Parkhead this evening.

The 23-year-old added: “We have a lot of belief in ourselves and, if we give it our very best, we know we could qualify for the group stage. That’s massive for us.

“Celtic is a quality team. They are known as The Invincibles, but these statistics are there to be beaten.

“We have some very good players of our own. I’d say in every position we are strong and it won’t be easy to play against us.”

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