Hibs head to Glasgow to face Rangers in what promises to be a fiery return from the international break. The fixture doesn’t usually have far to look for flashpoints and there’s no doubt that this one has the potential to be even more hotly contested after Hibs poured fuel on the fire with their impressive hard-line stance on supporters’ behaviour after Rangers’ visit to Easter Road last month.

Both sides desperately need the points, albeit for very different reasons. Rangers have their sights firmly set on taking the title from Celtic, while Hibs face a battle with Motherwell, Dundee, St Mirren, and Kilmarnock to secure one of the remaining three top-six places still up for grabs.

Of course, top six in itself shouldn’t be seen as any kind of achievement for Hibs. It is, though, the first marker we need to hit in order to achieve a European spot, with fourth place still not entirely out of reach.

Fourth would be seen as a successful season when targets were set at the start of the campaign, and it seems counterintuitive to be thinking about that as a realistic possibility whilst a top-six finish still isn’t assured, but Hibs have to be looking up the way and thinking about clawing back points on the teams above them.

Saturday’s game will be a huge challenge, but we should be able to take some positivity for how we performed in the cup game - at least until the red cards changed the complexion of the match.

The one area that does need to improve will be in the final third. For all Hibs competed well with Rangers in that cup tie, we didn’t really land a punch on them where it mattered. With Myziane Maolida and Emiliano Marcondes now at their fighting weight with matches under their belt, we should expect a better performance in that respect.

Nick Montgomery does have a decision to make with how he sets up his midfield. Nectar Triantis surprised many of us with strong performances alongside Joe Newell as a central two, and Nathan Moriah-Welsh can’t be certain that he’ll come straight back into the team having served his suspension following his red card against Rangers.

Hibs may also be able to call upon Martin Boyle and Lewis Miller for the match as they return from injury and although Montgomery will welcome the selection headache that comes with that, he’ll be happier that regardless of who starts, he can now turn to his bench and have strong options available.

We are into the crunch stage of the season now, and it’s difficult to call where Hibs will land after the next three games. We tried predicting how things will pan out on Longbangers this week, and despite all three of us agreeing that Hibs would make top six, we also had to acknowledge that there’s a very real possibility of us missing out. With a summer rebuild looming, many fans have already written off this season but I’m holding out hope that there are still some pleasant surprises to come.