With Cameron Carter-Vickers on the treatment table, it’s now over to Yuki Kobayashi.

The American defender is out of action for the rest of the season as he undergoes surgery on a troublesome knee issue, with reports stating it could be four months before he returns. There are just six games to go this term – including the Scottish Cup final against Inverness Caledonian Thistle – and Ange Postecoglou will likely call on Kobayashi to fill the considerable void left by Carter-Vickers.

His value to Celtic was emphatically underlined with a colossal display in Sunday’s semi-final win over Rangers, the 25-year-old playing through the pain barrier, as he has done for some time, to ensure his team remained on course for a world-record eighth domestic treble.

It is now over to his Japanese colleague, who has looked assured on his admittedly few opportunities, to ensure Celtic stay on that trajectory. Greg Taylor has full confidence Kobayashi is up to the task, and feels his presence may even benefit fellow centre-back Carl Starfelt.

"Cam is unbelievable, isn’t he?" Taylor said. “Since the moment he signed on loan and then permanently. Every game he is so consistent and an absolute warrior.

"He has played through the pain. He’s had a few knocks, a few bumps and bruises to say the least and he’ll get sorted and be ready to go again.

"But Yuki is unbelievable. Especially being on the ball on that left side with the left foot, I think it’ll also help Carl.

"Carl defends unbelievably, but it’s not easy playing the left side when he is right footed.

"He does outstandingly well even playing out with that, but it gives us good balance with Yuki maybe coming in as a left footer, so there is definitely more to come from us as a team.”

Celtic’s fool-proof mantra for success this season has been simply to take each game as it arrives, but Taylor confessed there’s ‘no point’ treating this weekend like just any other.

If Postecoglou’s side win at Tynecastle on Sunday, they will be confirmed as Premiership champions for the second year running. The title retention has felt like a formality for months, and the opportunity has finally arrived for them to rubberstamp it at the same venue they clinched the 2016/17 championship.

"Now, when it gets so close, you know what is at stake in these games,” Taylor said.

"There is no point in saying it’s one game at a time because the next game is Hearts and, if you take care of business in that game, it’s a league title.

"So, the focus goes to that. We’ll get a good training week in and just prepare the same way we have done all season because it has brought us pretty good success so far.”

The final hurdle on the road to another domestic clean sweep will be a return to Hampden on June 3. Celtic are overwhelming favourites to lift the Scottish Cup against second-tier Inverness, the difference in scale between the two clubs underlined by the fact the underdogs have been handed just one-fifth of the national stadium’s ticket allocation.

But Billy Dodds’ side have shown they can mix it with Premiership opposition, seeing off Livingston and Kilmarnock on their way to the final. Victory for them would not only be a monumental upset, but an excellent pub quiz question in 30 years’ time, given they were knocked out by Queen’s Park then reinstated when it was discovered the Spiders had fielded an ineligible player.

Inverness made light work of Falkirk in the semi-final, with veteran striker Billy McKay catching Taylor’s eye. The left-back just isn’t having the suggestion that this final will be a walkover in Celtic’s favour.

"You’ll say that, we won’t,” he insisted. "I watched a bit of the other semi-final and thought Inverness were outstanding with a really experienced striker up front in Billy McKay.

"So we know that will be a difficult game, but we still have five games still to go in the league first and we need to get our job done there first by playing our football and then we’ll be ready when the cup-tie comes around.”

Taylor has emerged as one of Postecoglou’s go-to men over the past two seasons, consistently getting the nod over Alexandro Bernabei, especially in the biggest games. His form has even put him in line for Celtic’s Player of the Year award, albeit he faces some stiff competition.

There’s a confidence about Taylor’s game that was not always evident earlier in his Parkhead career, and he has adapted to Postecoglou’s inverted full-back system seamlessly. But, while he has undoubtedly grown into his role, he admits the pre-match jitters before a big occasion don’t ever really go away.

"As a player, I’m normally not too bad the night before games,” he said. "It’s normally the morning of them. The pre-match [meal] can be difficult to get down, certainly when it comes to the big games,   

"But the pressure of playing with this club regardless of the opponent and regardless of the occasion, it’s expectancy. So, I think most games, the pre-match isn’t easy to go down, to be honest.

"But, once you are out there, the game just takes care of itself with the full focus on trying to get the job done.”