There’s no doubt that the lack of fans in football grounds has affected the sport in a negative way, but you need to try and find the occasional positive in the bad situation.
This weekend should set a record for a commentator apologising if anyone was offended by the language, but Rab Douglas also thinks it could be good news for Vasilis Barkas.
He was speaking in an interview with The National about his experiences in the fixture and what to expect from the game on Saturday, but it was his thoughts around Barkas that stood out:
“I have had clean sheets against Rangers and did alright and then I had the other side of the coin and when you make a mistake in a game of that magnitude, it is a lonely place to be.”
“I am just back playing League Cup games now with Arbroath and even at that you feel the flatness of playing without fans. But I think that if this was your introduction to the fixture that it might actually benefit you.”
The Greek international has had a decent start to life at Celtic but there have been some cheap goals conceded, so hopefully the lack of noise does allow him to just concentrate on the game and keep mistakes to a minimum.
It will probably come down to the old cliche of getting a good early touch of the ball and settling in from there, but Barkas has played in some big derby games in Greece so this shouldn’t be completely alien to him.
It will be interesting to see how both teams are affected by the lack of atmosphere and there’s always a danger that the home advantage could be lost, but Celtic should still have enough to win this one.