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STRIKER BLOW FOR EURO RIVALS

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CELTIC’S Europa League rivals AIK Stockholm have been dealt a blow ahead of their first leg play-off encounter at Parkhead on Thursday.

The Swedes, who got through on a 3-2 aggregate triumph after their 1-1 stalemate at home against Sheriff Tiraspol, will go into the tie without star striker Tarik Elyounoussi.

The frontman, who has been capped 55 times by Norway, picked up a booking against the Moldovans to push him over the disciplinary threshold and cop a one-game ban.

The former Hoffenheim attacker has netted 17 goals in 36 starts for the Swedes since joining them last year from another of the Hoops’ old foes, Qarabag.

Elyounoussi, in a report in the Evening Times, said: “It’s a massive disappointment to me because I would have loved to have played at Celtic Park.

“It’s a real punishment, but there’s nothing I can do about it now. In future, I will have to calm down my temper a little.”

The first game will be in the east end of Glasgow on Thursday with the return in Stockholm a week later.

Neil Lennon’s men dropped out of the Champions League on Tuesday’s after their 4-3 shocker against Cluj after drawing 1-1 in the first leg in Romania last week.

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