Frank McAvennie: Celtic can’t risk Kazim-Richards v Rangers

Celtic's Colin Kazim-Richards, right, should not play against Rangers, says former Parkhead striker Frank McAvennie. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
Celtic's Colin Kazim-Richards, right, should not play against Rangers, says former Parkhead striker Frank McAvennie. Picture: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire
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Former Celtic striker Frank McAvennie claims they cannot afford to risk Colin Kazim-Richards during Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final.

McAvennie – who ended up in court after his Old Firm debut red card – feels the Turkey international will be a liability if he features against Rangers at Hampden.

Frank McAvennie was sent off in his first Old Firm game. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

Frank McAvennie was sent off in his first Old Firm game. Picture: Bill Murray/SNS

The recent signing, who has netted once in 11 games for Celtic, was booked at Fir Park on Saturday after kicking the ball away when his number was called up.

The forward, who snubbed a handshake with manager Ronny Deila as he left the pitch, had just evaded punishment following a clash with Motherwell defender Kieran Kennedy.

McAvennie, who was promoting the betting firm comeon! for Sunday’s game, said: “I don’t think the boy Richards is good enough and he could be trouble. God, he is a live-wire isn’t he? He could get sent off at any time.

“You’ve got to be careful about that. I think he (Deila) took him off at the weekend because he could have got a red card.

“I’ve got a great temperament and I got sent off after 14 minutes. He could beat that record.

“We are old school and I would have wound him up to fever pitch. There will be a lot of wind-ups on Sunday, Scott Brown will be winding up some of the Rangers players.

“And I don’t know if Kazim-Richards is the right player to play up front with Griffiths. He’s not mobile, he’s big, and if he gets involved in a tussle, he wants to fight.”

McAvennie was sent off at Ibrox in 1987 after going in late on Chris Woods, and was later acquitted in court of “behaviour likely to cause a breach of the peace” after appearing alongside the Rangers goalkeeper plus Terry Butcher and Graham Roberts.

The former West Ham striker said: “Some of the lads at Celtic might not have played in these games but a lot of the boys at Rangers haven’t, and it gets to you. My first game lasted 14 minutes and I was sent off. You get caught up in it.

“The last thing the manager said to me before my first game was: ‘Don’t get involved.’ So that worked. I got involved with Chris Woods.

“It wasn’t a sending-off, it was a shock to get sent off, but it was definitely a booking and that could have put me on unstable ground for the rest of the game.

“I never thought that would happen to me. I had played in some big games and been there as a supporter.

“Some of my mates bet I wouldn’t last 90 minutes. I was a bit frightened about that, they obviously knew me better than I knew myself. And I never got a drink off them, but never mind.

“It’s not often you get a capacity crowd with two sets of supporters singing their throats out and they can’t talk after it.

“Some of these lads will not know what’s hit them.”

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