Socceroos winger Awer Mabil predicts ambitious Danes Midtjylland will cause shockwaves among Europe’s elite if they can brush past Slavia Prague for a history-making spot in the UEFA Champions League main draw.
With a place in the UEFA Europa League guaranteed, Mabil is gazing far beyond that prospect as he prepares for Wednesday morning’s (AEST) first leg against the Czech champions in Prague.
The return leg is back in Denmark eight days later - and Mabil, 25, believes the tie will be tight.
“We’re talking about two good sides and a huge amount at stake,” Mabil told The World Game.
“But we have great confidence in our ability. The team we have hasn’t just been built overnight - it’s been evolving over the last three or four years.
“Liverpool, a couple of years ago, were building and now they’re dominating things.
“It’s similar with us - we’re beginning to enjoy success.
“As a group, we’re tough and resilient and this is the strongest team the club has ever had.
“If we fielded our second team they’d probably win the (Danish Super) League also.”
A longtime Manchester United fan, Mabil got on the scoresheet in last week’s 3-0 victory of Switzerland’s Young Boys for his debut Champions League goal.
And he is convinced there will be more to come if Midtjylland find themselves in the group stage facing off against Europe’s superpowers.
“I look forward to scoring in the Champions League official, that’s what I’m working towards and I’m sure it will happen one day,” he added.
“I’ll just keep working and enjoying my time but when I get that chance I’m sure I’ll take it.”
Likewise the defending Danish champions as a whole, with Mabil pledging they won’t fluff their lines if they make it onto the main stage.
“We know we’ll face some huge clubs if we get there and to be honest we’re not scared at all. We’re more excited about it,” he said.
“We have an amazing team and just want to challenge ourselves against the best in the world.
“We’re not afraid of getting Barcelona, Liverpool or Manchester City, we’re excited.
“When we do get there we’re not just going sit back and let them dominate we’re going to play our football too.”
Mabil expects to be joined in the Midtjylland first team in the coming months by fellow South Australian Hosine Bility, the young defender currently impressing in the club’s U-21 side.
“I think he has great potential. He’s come back from a difficult injury and I’m really proud for him and the progress he’s making,” said Mabil.
“He’s strong mentally and I think he’s ready to make the next step.
“He’s trained with the first team a couple of times and I think he’s the perfect Midtjylland player, the way he is physically and how he uses the ball.
“I won’t be surprised if he breaks into the first team soon. He’s highly regarded throughout the club and while some of the players don’t know him as I do, Hosine has one of the big potentials in his position.”
Mabil even speculated that one day he’ll be joined by the 19-year-old in the Socceroos line up.
“He was at my place the other day and he was checking out the Socceroos cap and I said to him ‘brother one day soon that’s going to be you. All you have to do is keep working’.
“I know he’s going to be there - it’s just a matter of time.”