Clement can't name a Rangers XI that features Mr Deluded who exposed his own selfishness – Keith Jackson

And so it all comes down to this.

After almost 10 months of spilling blood, sweat, tears – and the throwing of all number of tantrums – today, at just around lunchtime, Scottish football’s most incompatible neighbours will be shoehorned back onto the same green space and told to settle their scores once and for all. It is unlikely to be an occasion for the fain-hearted or for anyone else lacking the emotional intelligence to fully grasp the scale of its significance.

And that’s why, of the two rival managers, Philippe Clement appears to have more reason to agonise over the make-up of the side he sends out into the eye of this impending storm to fight for survival. The Belgian gets it. Perhaps a little too much. There have been times in recent weeks when Clement has looked in danger of being overwhelmed by the sense of his own responsibilities.

Some guys just can’t handle Glasgow and these last six months will have come as an eye-opener for a man who made a name for himself in his homeland before landing a jackpot move to Monte Carlo, a place where the casinos draw bigger crowds than the football. In other words, nothing Clement has experienced up until this point can have fully prepared him for the insane intensity of his new home.

He claims to thrive on the madness of it all. But it takes a toll nonetheless. And Clement may not feel completely acclimatised until he’s gotten more used to the quirks of the locals. But there is no question he understands precisely what is expected of him by the blue half of the city which is probably why he’s appeared to be slightly rattled by it all over the last few weeks – having watched so many of his players struggle to get on the same page.

And that’s also why he has some serious thinking to do before signing off on his teamsheet at Celtic Park today. If he’d appreciate some advice from someone who has spent three decades observing this curiosity of a fixture and marvelling at its unflinching ability to unravel the minds of those on its battlefield, he need look no further than these pages.

Because if Clement is even toying with the idea of sending Fabio Silva out into the front line then he really should cease and desist with that notion without any further delay. The petulant manner with which the Portuguese striker celebrated scoring an equaliser against Killie on Sunday should have told the boss everything he needs to know about this player’s utter lack of self-awareness.

By choosing that particular moment to turn on his own club’s supporters and gesture that they have been too critical of his performance level, Silva exposed himself as being both completely deluded and astoundingly selfish.

Rangers' Fabio Silva celebrates scoring
Rangers manager Philippe Clement

That he made that moment more about his own importance than that of a team still trying to cling onto this season’s title with its fingertips displayed an alarming lack of character, especially given how little he has contributed since arriving on loan from Wolves in January.

The only lasting impression he will leave behind on his return to the Black Country this summer is the unsolved mystery of how on earth someone felt inclined to spend £40million on a man of such obvious limitations in the first place.

To put it simply, Silva is displaying dangerous, loose cannon traits of behaviour and he can’t be trusted to put his team first when it matters most of all in front of 60,000 Celtic fans who’ll be out to test the limits of his fraying temperament. They know an easy target when they see one around this fixture and they’ll view the increasingly erratic Silva as a red card waiting to happen.

Clement may have to make a similar assessment on the mindset of Todd Cantwell because, while the Englishman’s talent is not remotely in question, the same cannot always be said of his attitude.

Cantwell looked dangerously close to allowing his bottom lip to tremble when he was replaced by Clement during the second half of that 4-1 win over Killie, to such an extent that skipper James Tavernier felt required to ruffle his blond locks on his
way off the park as a touchy feely gesture of empathy.

With the clock running down and goal difference still in play, Tavernier should have adopted an old-fashioned approach by helping Cantwell to the sidelines more quickly by administering a swift boot to his backside.

Ironically, one possible solution – and perhaps the best available – would be to axe Silva completely and deploy Cantwell on the left-hand side of his attack in a positional switch which would also make room for the inclusion of Tom Lawrence. Most important of all, though, with a number of other key men, like John Lundstram for example, already planning for a fresh start somewhere else next season, Clement must work out which of these players he trusts to remain fully focused on the job in hand.

And which are more consumed with serving their own best interests. In the green corner, the situation seems a lot less complicated for Brendan Rodgers, at least in terms of commitment to the cause.

He may have well-founded doubts over the ability of relative newcomers such as Nicolas Kuhn, Yang Hyun-jun and Luis Palma to leave a mark on a match of such monumental importance. But he does have a dressing room full of serial winners like Cameron Carter-Vickers, Callum McGregor, Reo Hatate, Matt O’Riley, Kyogo Furuhashi and the evergreen James Forrest.

And even though Daizen Maeda does almost all his best work when the ball is as far away from his feet as possible, the willing wide man has proven himself to be a force of nature in this fixture. One which Rangers – and Tavernier in particular – struggle to withstand.

Rodgers was very deliberate in saying the other day that matches of such significance are often won and lost inside the head rather than on the pitch. He even quantified it by saying what’s between the ears counts for 80 per cent on a day such as this. It was the Celtic’s manager’s way of indicating that he has complete confidence in the mental durability of the players at his disposal.

Clement will find out for himself today if he can truly say the same of his.