On the face of it, Sunday’s league clash against Hearts looks pretty meaningless.
With the title wrapped up and attention turning to the Scottish Cup final against the same opposition a week later, you’d probably forgive the team for another laboured performance.
While the game at Hampden is undoubtedly the one we really want to win, it would also be nice to sign off our league campaign with three points for a couple of reasons.
It would be nice to go into the match on May 25th with a bit of a feel good factor. Sunday’s Ibrox defeat would’ve sapped confidence in the dressing room. While a similar result this weekend wouldn’t bring about the same criticism, it wouldn’t exactly help.
The players are playing with immense pressure at the moment and a polished home victory may help to calm things down.
Damage the opposition
The fact we play Hearts in our final two fixtures of the season adds an interesting dynamic. Sunday’s clash will likely see two fairly unrecognisable teams going head to head with the top stars wrapped in cotton wool ahead of the Hampden showdown.
However, a solid victory over the Jambos could dent their confidence. Craig Levein’s side have been in rotten form lately but seeing our insipid display at Ibrox will have given them a boost. It would be nice to remind them who’s boss ahead of the big one.
When Neil Lennon took over in February, Celtic were seven points clear at the summit of the Premiership. We’re now just six with a game to play. It wouldn’t reflect too well on the manager if we scraped the league title by just three points.
Rangers have a tough match at a fired-up Kilmarnock to round off their season so victory over Hearts could see us win the league by eight or nine points. That looks a lot more emphatic in the history books.