On Thursday night they put in a professional performance against Rosenborg in Trondheim. Coupled with Salzburg’s home win over Leipzig, Celtic’s Europa League fate is now in their own hands.
I’m not sure that was a situation I envisaged given how this season unfolded in those early months. Celtic’s change in form in the past couple of months has been nothing short of formidable.
They’ve taken top spot in the Scottish Premiership and kept their Europa League campaign alive going into the last group stage game. On Sunday they face Aberdeen in the League Cup Final to decide who takes that first piece of domestic silverware.
Aberdeen will looking to exorcise recent cup final defeats by Celtic. They last faced each other in this final two years ago.
Celtic were 3-0 victors in that one which put them on the road to their first treble since the Martin O’Neill era. Tom Rogic, James Forrest and Moussa Dembele were all on the score sheet that day.
In the same season, Celtic cemented that treble with another win over Aberdeen. They ran out 2-1 winners in the Scottish Cup Final by which time Aberdeen must have been sick of the sight of us.
In fact I’d imagine that most of Scottish football are sick of us winning everything. Should Aberdeen fail to halt Brendan Rodgers’ domestic superiority at Hampden tomorrow you can only imagine what will happen in the weeks and months ahead.
Celtic have suffered the loss of key players, injuries, poor form and even personnel infractions. The transfer market wasn’t exactly fruitful either, but look at us now.
A smaller squad we may be compared to previous seasons, but practically every player is playing a key role these days. Only a few are either out of the picture or injured.
I’d suggest that this close knit squad are functioning more effectively. There’s certainly another wave of belief sweeping through the squad.
That might just be enough to win another treble. First though, we must win on Sunday.
Derek McInnes’ side aren’t having their best season in the league. Then again only ten points separate the top eight teams.
That’s remarkable for Scottish football. We’re so used to a greater gap by now.
I’d say this has been one of the most interesting campaigns in a long time. So Sunday could be a classic given the possible implications should Celtic win.
There’s generally a bit of a physical tussle between both clubs these days. That goes back to the days of Neil Lennon, through Ronny Deila and now with Brendan Rodgers.
Aberdeen have been the second best team in Scotland the last four seasons. This season they may have to relinquish that to one of the other teams currently performing better.
Sunday will be a different situation though. I fully expect a serious challenge from the Dons.