After being cuffed away to Kazakhstan and Belgium, and humbled at home by Russia, the four Celtic players in tonight’s Scotland squad to face Belgium at Hampden would be forgiven for wanting the European Championship 2020 campaign over as soon as possible.
More to the point, you and I really don’t want to see Callum McGregor, James Forrest, Ryan Christie or new boy Greg Taylor playing competitive football into June and July, a whole year after Celtic’s season started and days before next season is due to begin.
A defeat tonight would allow Steve Clarke to play out the remainder of the campaign by experimenting with his squad, unburdened by the pressure of qualification. Callum McGregor, in particular, could do with some down time during the October and November international breaks. Celtic players will have two games a week outside of international breaks until the middle of December. The season is not viable for them to constantly be under this level of playing pressure.