The return of club football will be welcomed by many after a bizarre and unprecedented week for Celtic.
Though despite the off-field drama, they have the chance to go top of the table with a win over Glasgow rivals Rangers this Saturday.
The international break got off to the worst of starts when Odsonne Edouard tested positive for COVID-19 while away with France U21s, and shortly after Ryan Christie was told he’d have to isolate after being identified as a close contact of Scotland teammate Stuart Armstrong – who had tested positive too.
To make matters worse, Nir Bitton and Hatem Elhamed joined the list of positive cases.
The Israeli duo, along with Christie, are out of the picture. Edouard, however, returns to Glasgow the night before the game (Friday) – hopefully he features, even if it is as a late-sub.
Neil Lennon still has a talented squad at his disposal, and every one of those players will no doubt be ready and raring to go into another Glasgow derby.
The champions are on an eight-game winning streak, though have yet to show just what they’re fully capable of; now is the time.
New arrival Diego Laxalt has trained with the squad since arriving from AC Milan on-loan. The question is: Does Lennon start him?
Leigh Griffiths returned to action versus St. Johnstone and didn’t take long to head in his first goal of the season; a welcoming sight ahead of this match.
Rangers’ form is not to be sneered at: they’ve yet to lose a game in all competitions this season and are top of the league (albeit playing one game more).
Gerrard’s side were worthy winners in the last derby at Celtic Park ten months ago; Lennon should use that loss as inspiration for his players.
James Forrest and Mikey Johnston remain sidelined through injury for the Hoops.
Here is how we think Lennon could line his side up from the start
GK: Vasilis Barkas
Will get his first taste of a derby while also aiming for a fifth clean sheet in-a-row.
RCB: Christopher Jullien
Returning to the starting XI for the first time in a month after being absent though injury.
Any piece of magic similar to what he displayed in the League Cup final and I think we’d all be happy.
CB: Shane Duffy
Another player who will be relishing the chance to be a part of this fixture. Captained Ireland over the international break and had a couple of good individual performances.
LCB: Kristoffer Ajer
Completing the potential back-three is the towering Norwegian. Has no problems motivating himself for these types of games.
RWB: Jeremie Frimpong
A big performance is needed from the youngster, he’ll be busy.
He has the talent, energy, pace and drive to cause the opposition plenty of problems.
LWB: Diego Laxalt
He’s only just in the door, but when better to hand a debut to a new arrival?
The Uruguayian international has experience of playing in big games, and looks a solid asset to the squad. Hopefully he can offer plenty if he features on Saturday.
CDM: Scott Brown (C)
His influence was clear to see when he came on and motivated his team to the late win over St. Johnstone.
Hasn’t been on his best form this season, but his experience and quality will be key to the team when they walk out the tunnel on Saturday.
LCM: Callum McGregor
Returns from international duty having been a part of the Scotland side who won all three of their games.
Everyone knows the quality he brings and what he’s capable of.
He’ll be sharp and ready to go.
RCM: Olivier Ntcham
The Frenchman could complete the trio in the middle of the park.
There midfield battles will be key and could have a big influence on the outcome of the game. Ntcham’s ability to carry the ball forward and find that killer pass could prove vital.
CF: Mohamed Elyounoussi
If Lennon does opt for a 3-5-2, then the question of who starts up-top will be on fans’ minds.
Elyounoussi has played just off of the striker in certain games this season, which is what he may do again this weekend.
A big performance is needed from the Norwegian international; he’s due one.
ST: Albian Ajeti
Missed international break along with the two league games just before it due to a hamstring injury.
He’s back training and will hopefully be match fit. If he is, then Lennon could store his faith with the Swiss striker to lead the line from the get-go.
He boasts an impressive start to life at Celtic, having scored five goals and assisting one in 284 minutes of football.
It means we’d have attacking firepower on the bench: Griffiths, Klimala, Edouard (hopefully), Rogic and Turnbull all players who can have an incluence later in the game.