Tonight we will find out if that feel good factor that has been kicking around for the last fortnight is built on bedrock or a more malleable material. AZ Alkmaar finished a point shy of PSV Eindhoven last season, a side that tore Midtjylland apart in the last round of Champions League qualifiers.
AZ are the highest seed we could have met at this stage and at the start of the season would have expected to reach the Europa League group stage. They came to Celtic Park in a friendly 11 years ago with former Rangers former manager, Dick Advocaat, and left with a win, although Celtic were in a dark, post-Tony Mowbray lull at the time.
There are plenty of reasons to be hopeful. Celtic are creating chances and scoring goals with ease. A sell-out crowd will do its best to intimidate the visitors and put steel inside the hoops. Ange Postecoglou should have Liel Abada available for selection, the latter point could be crucial.
If I picked on anything Ange has done since he arrived, it would be not introducing fresh blood early enough in Midtjylland. Both sides were short of numbers but Midtjylland made earlier changes while Celtic stalled. It was not great game management.
AZ have played one solitary competitive game this season compared to Celtic’s seven. They will inevitably tire, Celtic have to be ready to hammer home any advantage possible late in the game. A flurry of fresh legs at the critical moment could be telling.