Jamie Murphy dealt a blow to Celtic on Saturday and this weekend, another Rangers loanee, Stephen Kelly, is set to get a chance to pile further pressure onto Neil Lennon and co.
Murphy scored and notched an assist as Hibernian drew 2-2 with the Hoops at Easter Road, a result which allowed the Gers to stretch their lead at the top of the Premiership table to 11 points with a win over Aberdeen.
Attention turns to the League Cup this weekend, but if anything, there’s even less margin for error.
Both Old Firm clubs will be expected to win their ties. Rangers face lower-league opposition in Falkirk, while Celtic have home advantage against top-flight strugglers Ross County.
Yet, defeat for either would see them drop out of the competition, leaving the door open for the other to claim the first available silverware of the season.
Few will be betting on the Staggies taking something from Parkhead, but if they are to succeed, Kelly is likely to be key.
The 20-year-old took a while to win over Stuart Kettlewell but he’s recently established himself in the team, starting his adopted side’s last three Premiership matches in central midfield.
County only took a solitary point from those games but Kelly has assisted their last two league goals and is a key creative influence.
As he showed during his stint with Ayr United last season, the Scotland U21 international is a goal threat from long-range, while the quality of his deliveries ensure the Highlands club are dangerous from set-pieces.
Kelly is yet to get off the mark for the 2020/21 season but the same could have been said of Murphy prior to the weekend.
The youngster is out on loan to prove he can shine in the top tier of Scottish football and it’s hard to think of a better time to show what he can do than in a knockout cup tie against Celtic.