Amidst all the chit-chat about what Ibrox might do tomorrow, it would be easy for some people to forget, or ignore, the simple truth of the matter; the game will be won or lost depending on what we do.
Celtic are the star attraction here, with a win virtually wrapping up this title.
There is little doubt that we have the better players … but who will the manager pick?
There is ample scope for springing some surprises on the Ibrox manager.
We have options in every area of the pitch, and as close to a full-strength squad as we have had at our disposal all season. This is why Ibrox’s tiresome whinging about injuries and suspensions and the like is so pitiful … we have come through an injury crisis which was expected to derail the campaign completely, and yet didn’t.
The midfield and the forward line are where the tough choices are.
Up front, we have three slots to fill and the following players competing for them; Kyogo, Maeda, Giakoumakis, Forrest, Abada and Jota. That is formidable.
In the central midfield we can choose from; McGregor, Hatate, O’Riley, Turnbull, Bitton, Rogic, Ideguchi and McCarthy.
The latter isn’t expected to feature and Ideguchi is still trying to find his feet, but that still leaves five players for three slots and better options than we’ve had in years, and this will only get stronger come next season when we will probably add to the team.
So what should the combinations be for tomorrow?
It is hard to argue that Callum McGregor will start. Certainty. But who plays alongside him? At Parkhead earlier in the season it was the combination of Hatate and O’Riley which tore the Ibrox club to absolute pieces, but there might be an argument for trading one of them for Nir Bitton is he is fully fit, so as to add some steel to the team.
But the craft of O’Riley and Hatate is part of what opened the Ibrox club up that night, that and the right hand side partnership between Juranovic and Abada … and Abada has to start, for me, for that very reason.
I would probably go with the same central midfield three as won that night, because I thought the whole tempo of our performance at Hampden went up the second O’Riley was on the pitch. I rate him as one of the best of our signings.
The forward position is harder to predict, and even harder to choose from because the options here are all different.
It would be unfair to leave out Maeda although he’s been magnificent, but I think having Kyogo and Giakoumakis in the starting eleven is too good an idea to resist and I think that the manager will go with them alongside Abada.
Being able to bring Jota and Maeda off the bench, alongside Rogic and Turnbull and Ralston … that’s what the manager has accomplished in such a short space of time.
This is why we’re on the brink of this title and why I think we’ll win tomorrow and with room to spare.