The looming clash between Rangers and Celtic is a blockbuster fixture which has supporters on both sides counting down the days until Sunday.
It’s monumental for the players as well, however, many of the men who will star at Ibrox have had the World Cup on their mind.
And it has been a mixed week for many of Celtic and Rangers’ biggest names amid their pursuit to reach Qatar.
Focus will quickly shift back to club commitments but there’s no doubt some near misses will be gnawing away at a host of key players.
Record Sport runs the rule over an international break packed with dramatic moments both on and off the park.
Colombia (Alfredo Morelos)
It was bad news for Rangers last week when news emerged that star striker Alfredo Morelos was rumoured to have suffered an injury while with his country.
After sitting out their first match against Bolivia that was then confirmed in a Colombian Football Federation statement.
They announced Morelos would be heading back to Rangers before their final World Cup qualifier against Venezuela which they won 1-0 but still missed out on Qatar.
Croatia (Borna Barisic, Josip Juranovic)
There were differing roles for the Croatia full-backs.
Juranovic played the full 90 in a friendly against Slovenia, which ended 1-1.
Barisic was an unused substitute but he played the full 90 minutes against Bulgaria on Tuesday.
Manager Zlatko Dalic rested the Parkhead man for that game after Vatreni already qualified for Qatar 2022.
Finland (Glen Kamara)
The Rangers midfielder played the full 90 minutes during his side’s 2-0 defeat to Slovakia on Tuesday.
He will be in the mix to start against Celtic on Sunday.
Greece (Giorgos Giakoumakis)
Parkhead’s bustling centre-forward was handed a leading role by new Greece manager Gus Poyet.
He started in a 1-0 friendly win over Romania, being taken off for AZ Alkmaar’s Vangelis Pavlidis on 72 minutes.
Suggestions from Poyet and the Greek media indicated he may be given a rest against Montenegro but he came off the bench in the closing stages.
Israel (Nir Bitton, Liel Abada)
Now something of a veteran in the Israeli ranks, Bitton had a gruelling 90 minutes against the might of Germany as he faced off against the likes of Kai Havertz and Timo Werner, both on the scoresheet in a 2-0 home win.
They take on Romania in a second friendly but Bitton won’t be part of it, having already been sent home to rest up after the national side came to an agreement with Celtic.
Wide man Abada returned to scoring form by netting for the Under-21s against Poland in a 2-2 draw.
Japan (Reo Hatate)
Hatate was an unused substitute as Japan secured qualification for a seventh straight World Cup by beating Australia 2-0.
He then made his debut during the dead rubber final qualifier against Vietnam as he played the opening 45 minutes.
Nigeria (Joe Aribo, Leon Balogun, Calvin Bassey)
The Super Eagles trio were all called up from Rangers to take part in a massive two-legged AFC play-off for the World Cup.
All three got on the park during the 0-0 draw in Ghana with Aribo and Balogun starting while Bassey came on as a second half substitute.
The trio all started in the return leg against the Black Stars on a night to forget as they all toiled during a 1-1 draw that sent Nigeria crashing out on away goals.
Bassey, Aribo and Balogun received lukewarm reviews for their displays on a night that was marred by unsavoury scenes at the final whistle.
Raging fans stormed the pitch after qualification was denied and caused damage to the dugouts as smoke filled the air.
Northern Ireland (Steven Davis)
The 37-year-old added to his incredible international legacy with a goal in the win over Luxembourg before featuring in the 1-0 defeat to Hungary.
A veteran playing in two fixtures for his country might be a cause for concern, however, these matches have allowed Davis to get up to speed and make his case for inclusion against Celtic at the weekend.
Even in a key role from the bench.
Scotland (Ryan Jack, Callum McGregor, Greg Taylor, Stephen Welsh)
Celtic captain McGregor and left-back Taylor started for Scotland in the 1-1 friendly draw with Poland on Thursday night.
The former made way for Jack in the 77th minute, who made his first international appearance since November 2020.
Both McGregor and Taylor were rested for the 2-2 draw in Austria but Ryan Jack started for Steve Clarke’s side before being subbed in the second half.
Under-21s captain Welsh had a bad night against Turkey, scoring an own goal in the 2-0 defeat at Tynecastle before insisting the performance was one of the country’s worst ever “at any age group”.
Welsh’s woes were compounded during the 2-2 draw away to Kazakhstan as he was forced off.
Sweden (Carl Starfelt, Filip Helander)
The centre-backs may line up against one another come Sunday but they shared the same bench last week.
Helander did come on as a substitute late on as the Swedes locked up shop to earn a 1-0 extra-time win over the Czech Republic.
Victor Lindelof and Joakim Nilsson kept the duo on the bench as they fell short in their all-or-nothing clash with Poland.
United States (James Sands)
Sands earned a recall to the USMNT and was an unused substitute in the goalless draw with Mexico and on Sunday night in a pivotal 5-1 demolition of Panama.
That sets up a huge final qualifier in Costa Rica that will determine if they can join neighbours Canada in Qatar which will take place in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
Wales (Aaron Ramsey)
The Wales stalwart impressed again for his country, turning in a 90-minute performance against Austria that takes them a game from Qatar in a 2-1 play-off win.
That game could potentially be against Scotland further down the line after two moments of magic from Gareth Bale, who like Ramsey often saves his best showings for when he’s in Cymru red.
He was absent from the squad against Czech Republic after suffering a knock and will be monitored ahead of Sunday’s clash with Celtic at Ibrox.
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