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Lack of fans doesn’t reduce importance of Old Firm derby – Mohamed Elyounoussi

Celtic v Hibernian – Scottish Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Mohamed Elyounoussi insists the absence of supporters from Saturday’s Old Firm clash at Celtic Park will not minimise the importance of the fixture.

For the first time in the history of the famous derby there will be no fans allowed into the stadium, as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

Celtic are one point behind Premiership leaders Rangers with a game in hand as they resume their search for a 10th successive title and their Norway international said: “I am looking forward to this game like anyone else.

“It would be nice if it was other circumstances obviously, with fans and everything, but it is what it is and it doesn’t take away from how huge the game is.

“It doesn’t take away from the meaning of the game.

“It is as big as it can get. Everyone knows the Old Firm is one of the biggest games in the world.

“Obviously the emotions that are part of the game are not really there.

“But we know we have everyone behind us and watching the game, so we will prepare to play as good as possible and try to win the game.”

Elyounoussi came on as a substitute for Norway in their 2-1 European Championship play-off semi-final defeat by Serbia last week, which denied him the chance to take on Scotland in the final next month.

Asked about Steve Clarke side’s chances in the one-off game in Serbia, he said: “Scotland may have a chance.

“Serbia are a strong team. They were really good against us, really sharp, they had a lot of chances and they could easily have scored more.

“We had a bad day, from our side, it was not our best game. But it’s a game of 90 minutes and anything can happen.

“From what I saw, Scotland looked really strong defensively, they haven’t conceded a lot of goals and they have a few players up front that can cause them a problem.

“So, in a final, anything can happen so I don’t think Serbia will get an easy game.”

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