You and I are old enough to remember when a home cup draw for Celtic was a rarity, so we’ll take Dunfermline at Celtic Park in the last 16 of the League Cup with good grace. I know this trophy is our fourth priority of the season, but it will not feel like that come the latter stages, should we get there, or even if we don’t.
Get past Dunfermline and there is a maximum of one away game before the neutral venue semi-finals. This competition co-exists in the calendar with European group stage games, so it takes careful squad management to chart a successful course through them.
The League Cup represents every other teams’ best chance of getting a trophy off Celtic this season, especially so, if Celtic are the only side still in Europe. As such, it takes on an importance it has seldom held since its inauguration in 1946.
This exceptional domination of Scottish football by Celtic has made every trophy, every game, more important. This is why Brendan Rodgers was right to rest players for a Europa League game in Leipzig ahead of a League Cup semi-final against Hearts. Conventional wisdom held that domination by a single team was bad for a sport, but there is a timeless truism: sport needs great champions for others to aspire to beat. This is where Scottish football is right now. Dunfermline have their chance in a few weeks.