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Mohamed Elyounoussi urges Celtic to play ‘fast football’ against Aberdeen

Mohamed Elyounoussi File Photo
(Image credit: Ian Rutherford)

Mohamed Elyounoussi believes Celtic need to play “fast football” to overcome Aberdeen at the second time of asking on Sunday.

The two sides fought out a thrilling 3-3 draw in the Premiership at Pittodrie last Sunday, with the Dons taking a point with a last-gasp penalty.

While Derek McInnes’ men have had a week to prepare for the William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden Park this Sunday, the Hoops travelled to Lille for their Europa League encounter on Thursday and came away with a 2-2 draw.

Elyounoussi scored a first-half double in midweek and the Norway international believes Celtic can make the final, against either Hibernian or Hearts, if they find the tempo they demonstrated for long spells in France.

He said: “I am expecting the same type of game. They will probably sit back, defend and try to counter attack. So we have to do better than we did last time.

“We controlled the game really well until they got the penalty in the first half.

“We need to play fast football as we did on Thursday with intensity in our game, with and without the ball and I think we have the chance to beat them.

“Now it is all about recovery. The games come up quick and it is all about nutrition and recovery to make sure that we have fresh legs on Sunday.

“It is a really important game for us so we are looking forward to it.”

Parkhead manager Neil Lennon has a doubt over defender Kristoffer Ajer, who had to come off early in the second half against Lille with a groin injury.

However, Israel defender Hatem Elhamed will be back in contention after ending his period of self-isolation after contracting Covid-19 while on international duty.

French striker Odsonne Edouard and Israel defender Nir Bitton both got game time in France after recovering from the virus and will push for a start at Hampden.

Winger James Forrest (ankle) and defender Christopher Jullien (back) remain out.