If results go their way, Scotland will tonight become the first team to qualify for the Euro 2024 in Germany next summer. Norway and Georgia are both on four points. A draw would see them move to five, 10 behind Scotland with three games remaining.
Either way, automatic qualification is inevitable, as, with Spain remaining on both their rosters, neither of the sides who meet in Oslo tonight are likely to reach 15 points. Post-Scott Brown, James Forrest, Ryan Christie, Kieran Tierney and Stuart Armstrong, our exposure to Scotland games it limited to Callum McGregor. It is some comfort he will be excused play-off games in the spring.
In the next five weeks, however, Callum is likely to face England, Feyenoord, Lazio, Spain and France, five exhausting matches, with four other Celtic games thrown into the mix. We need him fresh and at his best for Rotterdam and the visit of the Romans.
With so much of the squad wilting, the role of the captain cannot be overestimated. He should be rested whenever a safe goal margin permits.