A lot of the pre-season talk in Scottish football centred around the prospect of an Old Firm title race and the signs are that one is finally about to develop.
Celtic have come through an injury crisis flexing their muscles in recent weeks; but Rangers have been working tirelessly to improve their discipline, creativity and consistency in their bid to close the gap.
Now Steven Gerrard’s side have an opportunity to land a psychological blow by going top of the league; Brendan Rodgers’ men are in the final of the Betfred Cup and a win away at Hearts would lift the Gers to the top of the tree.
That would be an important step for a side that possibly still lacks a bit of belief that they can actually overhaul their bitter rivals and clinch the clown.
Seeing off Hearts would also be a major step given how well they started the season – setting the early pace – and hitting the front would create a slightly different dynamic.
It would give Rangers something to cling on to and while missing the opportunity or being overtaken swiftly would not be terminal, going top could shift the dynamics of a title chase that is shaping up very nicely indeed.