We’re moving into the exciting part of the season where we have trophies won, clubs fighting for promotion through play-offs and others struggling to stay in their division.

Rangers fans won’t obviously be upset with it but we’ve lost out this season on having a challenge for the Premiership title with the league being won in March. To be fair, this has been an ongoing trend as Celtic have comfortably won the title for many seasons.

It would be great if we could, once again, have a title battle equivalent to that currently occurring in Spain, where going into May, we have the top three teams separated by two points. Funnily enough, if Sevilla had won their home match on Monday night against Bilbao, the top four teams would have been separated by three points. Now, that’s a championship climax.

I love competition in the game and we all get a real lift from the interest and excitement this brings us. I have been talking for some time about the battle that exists at the bottom of the league with Ross County, Kilmarnock and Hamilton now vying to avoid the drop into the Championship. It’s a nervous but exciting contest and one that might possibly go to the last game.

Readers might not agree with it but I did express a few weeks ago my favour for the league split as this means the teams challenging for the title, a European spot and relegation avoidance are all playing against each other in the five remaining league fixtures. Now obviously, this season, the top six’s fixtures are largely meaningless.

That’s certainly not the case in the bottom six with only three points separating the bottom three places with two games to go. It’s even more interesting because Accies, who are generally everyone’s tip for relegation each season, have their two remaining matches against relegation rivals Ross County and Kilmarnock.

HeraldScotland:

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If Accies do what they have done over recent seasons, and stay up with crucial wins in these matches, then it will have been a fantastic achievement. Their last game is at home, and depending on what the points situation is going into this match, this could be like a cup final for these clubs.

The penultimate games are also really crucial for the teams, as depending on the results, this final fixture could easily prove to be meaningless too. If Kilmarnock were to beat St Mirren and Hamilton lose to Ross County then that would be the case. However, if Hamilton draw with County, then they are still putting County under pressure to get at least a point in their last league match at Motherwell.

We could have an amazing final day to conclude the season if Hamilton win at Ross County and Kilmarnock draw with St Mirren. The three teams would then all go into the final day on 33 points.

From the current points situation, Kilmarnock and Ross County have it in their own hands. A win for both would see Hamilton relegated.

It’s extremely difficult to predict what the final outcome will be given the pressure that these matches bring on players and management.

In the meantime, however, we’ve got interesting Scottish Cup semi-finals to enjoy. Like the final relegation clashes that are imminent, these games should also be interesting with uncertain outcomes. That’s what makes this year’s domestic cup competitions very enjoyable and I hope we get a flavour of this again this weekend.

HeraldScotland:

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AND ANOTHER THING . . .

It was interesting to see that UEFA are allowing the Euro squads to increase to 26 players for this year’s tournament. It may be a new initiative and could be considered as a bit of a surprise but it isn’t really much of a change. Considering every Scotland squad that’s announced has generally 26-plus players in it, we are, in fact, very used to it.

It will mean though that certain players that are generally excluded when it comes to the final 22 being registered for the tournament will be able remain part of the set-up.

One name that is being put forward for the event is Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour. I think this is a must as he’s a special talent. It’s been tough for him since Frank Lampard was removed from the manager’s job as he had recognised how good he was and had given him a chance even although the Chelsea squad is very strong and experienced.

However, he played last Saturday against Fulham and by all accounts was very good. So, perhaps he’ll now become an option for Thomas Tuchel and get some crucial game time in before the end of the domestic season.

He’s also the only Scottish player with a Champions League medal chance this season.