The Gers are six points behind them in the table and any positive result for the Hoops tonight will mean that they are crowned as champions of the top flight.
Van Bronckhorst’s side, therefore, have little to play for in the sense that they are almost guaranteed to finish second barring a sensational slip-up from the leaders.
This means that the Dutch head coach can afford to rotate his team and hand out opportunities to the squad’s younger members in the last two league matches.
One youngster who must be unleashed from the start against Ross County tonight is central midfield gem Alex Lowry.
The academy prospect has not started a league match since January and must now be given a chance to show what he can do from the start.
He has played two matches in the Premiership this season and shown glimpses of the quality he has to offer to the team. The midfielder made six tackles and interceptions combined and created two chances in 116 minutes over the course of the two outings, illustrating his desire to make an impact at both ends of the pitch.
Lowry, dubbed a “big baller” by journalist Josh Bunting, was praised for his cameo off the bench in the 2-0 win over Dundee United recently. Athletic reporter Jordan Campbell picked him out on the day, Tweeting: “Every time Lowry plays he stands out a mile. Today been no exception. Pinging it around for fun.”
This shows that he is catching the eye when given minutes at senior level and that is why he must start against Ross County. These experiences will be invaluable to the 18-year-old midfielder as he heads into 2022/23 with the potential aim of becoming a first-team regular.
In terms of who may be dropped to accommodate him, on-loan gem James Sands could drop out after an underwhelming showing at the weekend. As per SofaScore, he lost six of his eight duels and failed to make a single tackle, interception, or block throughout the match – recording a rating of 6.6.
This may tempt van Bronckhorst into dropping the American and Lowry must be the player to walk into the XI in his place.