Leigh Griffiths says Hampden Park occasion makes Old Firm clash all the more special

Celtic Stands

The Celtic striker has talked up the occasion of the arch-rivals' meeting on Sunday.

Celtic striker Leigh Griffiths has told Sky Sports that the fact this weekend's Scottish Cup semi-final against Rangers is being held at Hampden Park makes the occasion even more special.

The Old Firm rivals meet at midday on Sunday at the Scottish national stadium with the stakes far higher than when Ronny Deila's side beat a Gers side under the caretaker management of Kenny McDowalls 2-0 in the Scottish League Cup semi-final 14 months ago,

Though the sides will face each other for a place in a major final once again, this season's Rangers team is a different proposition to last term's, with Mark Warburton's side having already won the Scottish Championship and Petrofac Cup titles.

Now that Rangers have sealed a return to the top flight next season, Sunday's meeting is not only crucial in the context of both clubs' respective seasons, but will also serve as something of an acid test ahead of the rivalry being renewed next season.

Griffiths knows that Rangers will serve as a tough test for his side and told Sky Sports that the fact the game is taking place at Hampden Park brings an extra level of occasion to the tie.

He said: "The week leading up to an Old Firm game is always big but the fact it is going to be played at the national stadium again is just extra special.

"Rangers are a league below and they've just won their league at a canter so big congratulations to them, but from our point of view we're top of our league and going well."

Celtic are, understandably, being billed as favourites for the meeting but Rangers will be desperate to make a big statement about how much they can achieve next season by giving their rivals a run for their money on Scottish football's biggest stage.

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