Celtic good enough to defeat Zenit St. Petersburg – Eboue Kouassi

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The Hoops will be aiming to secure a spot in the last-16 of the Europa League after a grabbing a first-leg advantage in Glasgow

Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi is confident that the reigning Scottish Premier League champions can defeat Zenit St. Petersburg for a place in the Uefa Europa League round of 16.

Brendan Rodgers’ side secured a first-leg advantage in Glasgow after Callum McGregor’s 78th-minute effort stood as the only difference in the encounter.

As both teams gear up for the return fixture at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium on Thursday, the 20-year-old Ivorian is positive that the Celtic Park outfit can get the job done in Russia despite Zenit’s impressive home record this season.

“Last week was a great win, a great night for Celtic. It was important we got the win at home,” Kouassi told Daily Record.

“I have played in St. Petersburg. It’s a good stadium with one of the best atmospheres in Russia. Zenit are always dangerous from home, they don’t lose a lot of games there. But we know what to do, we know how we have to play.

“But I would not say it is difficult for us to go there. If we play as we can do, then we will qualify for the next round.”

Kouassi who was on parade for 73 minutes in the first leg of the encounter disclosed that the Scottish Premier League leaders will fight through to get the needed result at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium.

 “I don’t think Zenit will be much better than they were in Glasgow. I think we will see the same team,” he added.

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“Am I confident of winning? Yes I am hopeful. We will fight, we will play our best to get through.

“The key for us to get through in Russia is to fight, as we did in the first leg. We need to keep pressing and pushing. We must attack as we did last week.

“We won’t go there to defend, we will play like we did on Thursday, we must try to score a goal.”