Nobody can deny there is absolutely no stopping Rangers’ title march under Steven Gerrard.
However, as they head through to Glasgow tomorrow, Dundee United should truly believe they can get something against a depleted Gers side, out of sorts by their high standards.
United have nothing to lose against the runaway league leaders with Micky Mellon’s men not expected to get anything from the game at Ibrox – a place where the home side are perfect through 14 so far this term.
Although it seems like the Terrors are well safe from being dragged into any sort of relegation battle, getting a result in Govan on Sunday afternoon would be a huge boost to their top-six ambitions.
And, if there was to be an opportune time to strike one against the Light Blues in this most dominant of campaigns for Gerrard’s men, you would have to say it’s this weekend.
Coming into the Premiership clash on the back of a gruelling 4-3 Europa League win at Royal Antwerp on Thursday, where they lost key men James Tavernier and Kemar Roofe to injury, the Gers will likely be fatigued compared to United, who have had a long-awaited week off.
With one eye on the second leg this coming Thursday on home soil and the Teddy Bears showing some signs of fragility in recent league games against Hamilton and St Johnstone, the Tangerines should be buoyed heading into this one.
Of course, Rangers have a quality and strength in depth that is envy of most in the top flight and United will be without a key man of their own, the suspended Peter Pawlett.
However, with the form they’re in, impressive in wins in their last two against Ross County and Livingston, and given the game they gave Rangers the last time the teams met in the 2-1 defeat at Tannadice last year, I’m cautiously optimistic the Terrors can snatch something.
With Kilmarnock, Celtic and Aberdeen all still to face before the split, even putting in a good performance should give them the confidence required to go into those easier, albeit still difficult, fixtures and pick up the required points to pip both sets of Saints to the post.
It seems to be clicking for Mellon’s men at a good time, with the 3-0 victory over Livi at Tannadice last weekend, arguably, their most complete display of the season to date.
Lawrence Shankland, who notched a brace that day, looks back to his best and there is a clear system in place that has the Terrors confident at both ends of the park.
In defence, No 1 Benjamin Siegrist and centre-half Ryan Edwards have been pivotal.
While, at the other end, Ian Harkes, Adrian Sporle, Marc McNulty and Louis Appere are complementing star man Shankland nicely.
For a while there, United couldn’t see the wood for the trees. Now in the clear, you wouldn’t bet against them toppling Rangers off their lofty perch.
At this stage of the season, a lot of teams are crying out for a break in play to rest up and make that final push over the line.
I only have to look at my own team, St Mirren, preparing for our sixth game of eight this month as Livingston come to Paisley.
Injuries have decimated the Buddies squad and allowed the likes of United and St Johnstone (see above) to get back into the race for the top six as the pre-split season comes to a close.
For Dundee, however, it’s a very different story, with the Dee not even halfway through their second-tier campaign yet!
Following their three-week ‘winter break’, the Dark Blues should be refreshed and raring to go as Queen of the South come to town this afternoon.
Although no doubt short of match sharpness, the enforced break, because of the elements making pitches unplayable, has the Dundee squad looking strong.
Last time out, way back at the end of January, the Dee had to start with debut boy Malachi Fagan-Walcott and Sam Fisher at the heart of the defence.
As in-form Queens come to town, however, James McPake can once again call on experienced heads Liam Fontaine and Lee Ashcroft.
Throw in new boys Paul McMullan and Jason Cummings from the start and I rate their chances of picking up all three points.
As we approach the anniversary of fans’ absence from our grounds it still doesn’t feel any more normal.
Atmosphere, revenue and that crucial in-person support have all been posted missing.
There doesn’t appear to be any end in sight just yet as lockdown continues across the country amid the coronavirus pandemic.
However, I’ve been heartened by two Arabs who have made their presence felt in absentia, of late.
Congrats to Paul McNicoll on winning SFSA Fan of the Year and Anish Tewari for starting anti-racism campaign Unify.
Fans remain our game’s lifeblood.