Michael Brown admits he is disappointed that Celtic will be missing the likes of Ryan Christie for this weekend’s derby clash with Rangers.

The former Tottenham and Leeds United midfielder, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has bemoaned the disruption caused by the Coronavirus pandemic in the build up to Saturday’s game.

Celtic confirmed on Monday that Hatem Abd Elhamed had provided a positive Covid-19 test and would join Nir Bitton and Ryan Christie on the sidelines for the visit of Rangers.

Star striker Odsonne Edouard is also a doubt for Neil Lennon after he was forced into a period of self-isolation over the international break.

Brown insists that Celtic find themselves in a “real difficult” situation for the top-of-the-table showdown and that it is a shame some of the Hoops’ top stars could be absent.

Asked if he was disappointed star players would be missing for Saturday’s clash, Brown told Football Insider: “Yeah, for sure. It’s not ideal, I think we’ve seen a rise of Covid cases and it’s going to be very, very disruptive.

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“With big games coming up, we’ve seen what it’s done to Scotland as well so it’s not an ideal situation but that’s the current climate we’re in. 

“It’s just a really difficult situation.” 

Edouard played no part for France’s under-21s during the international break as he provided his positive test shortly after linking up with his country.

Christie, as well as former Celtic star Kieran Tierney, was forced into self-isolation after Stuart Armstrong tested positive on Scotland duty, while Bitton and Elhamed were both found to have contracted the disease while with Israel.

In other Celtic news, Rangers are said to hold a “massive advantage” over the Hoops.