By Frank McAvennie

10th Jan, 2022 | 7:00am

McAvennie 'praying for good news' amid fears of Celtic blow pre-Rangers

Frank McAvennie is “praying” capacity crowds are allowed in time for February’s clash between Celtic and Rangers.

The former Hoops hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, admitted was “painful” watching last season’s Old Firm games behind closed doors.

After a rise in Covid cases, the SPFL brought forward the seasonal winter break at the request of several clubs, including Celtic.

Before these plans were confirmed, crowds were going to be limited to just 500 fans until cases started to decline.

It is unknown if these plans will be in place when the season resumes later this month.

McAvennie has been left hopeful after watching Premier League games continue to allow capacity crowds.

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“Oh my God, I just hope the fans are back in for the Old Firm,” McAvennie told Football Insider correspondent Ben Wild.

“Last season it was painful watching those games with no fans in.

“I look at the Premier League and see St James’ Park and Old Trafford still full.

“There is absolutely no reason why we can’t have fans in once the season starts again.

“I’m not even annoyed about this whole ‘Celtic will have an advantage with the fans in’.

“That’s probably true but my issue is that it’s just not right. Football without fans is nothing.

“A game like the Old Firm needs fans, it’s not really the Old Firm if it’s behind closed doors.

“I’m praying for good news. Everyone needs to see sense and we can have a full Parkhead for that one.”

Celtic welcome Rangers to Parkhead on 2 January.

This is exactly one month on from when the match was originally scheduled.

In other news, a pundit has saluted the ‘relentless’ Ange Postecoglou as next Celtic transfers revealed by Sky man