We will find out if the international break has been good for Aberdeen this weekend when they make the trip north to face their bogey team of last season, Caley Thistle.
The Highlanders were the only side in the Scottish Premiership the Dons failed to beat last season and they continued their good run of results by taking a point at Pittodrie when the teams met earlier in the season.
Aberdeen battered Richie Foran’s side but only had one goal to show for their efforts before being hit where it hurts when Iain Vigurs fired home a spectacular equaliser
Since then Inverness have slowly but surely moved up the table and had crept into the top six before the break.
Aberdeen also enjoyed a good run since the teams last met but defeats to Hamilton and Celtic took the shine off a solid start to the campaign.
To their credit, Derek McInnes’ men put that two defeats to bed with a gritty win at Partick Thistle in their last outing and they will be keen to continue the winning habit by taking all three points at Caledonian Stadium on Saturday in a game where the Aberdeen manager will not need to remind his side places in next week’s Betfred Cup final are at stake.
Choosing a starting 11 will not be an easy decision. Ash Taylor is back in the fold after recovering from injury while the return of captain Ryan Jack has allowed Graeme Shinnie to revert to left back.
However, Andy Considine has done well both at left back and central defence while Mark Reynolds has also featured alongside Anthony O’Connor who has quickly established himself in a central defensive role.
Unless McInnes has a change of heart on where Shinnie plays against the Hoops deciding which of his three central defenders will partner O’Connor will be a big call for the Aberdeen manager.
It doesn’t get any easier at the other end of the pitch.
Niall McGinn, usually one of the first names on the teamsheet, was on the bench at Firhill with McInnes opting for a two-man frontline of Jayden Stockley, who scored a spectacular winner and Adam Rooney, who has been the leading scorer for the past two seasons.
However, it was Wes Burns who started against Celtic at Pittodrie in the previous game with both Rooney and Stockley named as substitutes. They joined James Maddison in watching the action from the bench.
Clearly the Dons manager is keeping quite a few of his players on his toes in the build-up to next week’s cup final at Hampden.
I’d expect to see Joe Lewis, O’Connor, Shinnie, Shay Logan, Jack and Jonny Hayes start at the National Stadium next week.
But I’d struggle to fill in the other five spaces, such is the competition for places at the club.
McInnes is a man with options and that’s why this weekend is such an important fixture for the Dons players.
It is their last chance to push their claim for a place in the cup final starting 11. I’d advise them to take it.