Aberdeen must discover a way to bring an edge and intensity to their play for 90 minutes, despite the lack of supporters.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has indicated fans could begin to be phased back into Premiership games slowly from September 14.
However, the ban on supporters could extend far beyond next month if there is another coronavirus spike.
It will be the teams who adapt quickest to this alien new norm of no supporters who will thrive.
Some teams could struggle without the roar of the crowd, adrenaline and inspiration.
There may have been no crowd, but Aberdeen – set up by boss Derek McInnes in a 4-2-3-1 – were like spectators in the first 30 minutes of their opening 1-0 defeat to Rangers at Pittodrie.
The Reds were passive and off the pace as the Gers dominated possession and tempo.
Aberdeen improved significantly after the break and had more bite and intent.
In the second half, they played as if there was a crowd cheering them on.
That is the level they will have to deliver from the outset away to St Johnstone on Saturday and in the other closed-door games.
Anderson couldn’t shoot without ammunition
Losing your leading scorer to injury before the league opener is a blow – also losing his back-up is a disaster.
Aberdeen were rocked by the news Sam Cosgrove would be out for 10 weeks with a fractured cartilage, while Curtis Main missed out due to a thigh strain.
This offered a long-awaited opportunity for Bruce Anderson to lead the line.
The 21-year-old has been prolific for the U21s and also impressed during pre-season.
However, a striker can only shoot if he is given ammunition and the wingers and midfield left him isolated in attack for long spells.
Anderson ran his heart out for the cause and clearly has the talent to make an impact this season, as does teenage loan signing Ryan Edmondson, secured from Leeds United until January.
In Anderson, Main and the physical Edmondson, boss Derek McInnes should have enough options and firing power.
Anderson was starting only his fourth game and Edmondson, 19, had never started a senior game.
In contrast, Rangers went with a three-pronged attack effectively worth £27m.
Alfredo Morelos is set to be subject to a £17m bid from Lille, Ryan Kent cost the Gers £7m from Liverpool and Ianis Hagi £3m from Genk.
That is the sheer spending power Aberdeen, who have been restricted in the transfer window due to financial losses from the pandemic, are up against.
However, for all Rangers’ value, and all their possession, the Ibrox side still struggled to create many clear-cut chances against a dogged Dons defence.
They had 80% possession in the first 20 minutes, and inevitably that paid off when some lacklustre pressing saw Ryan Kent break through a hole in the backline to slot the winner past Joe Lewis..
Focus on Edmondson
On-loan Leeds United striker Ryan Edmondson harrassed the Rangers back line with his physicality and pace on his second half introduction.
He showed an ability to take the ball in and spin defenders.
It was a promising debut and indicates why the England Under-19 international is so highly rated at Elland Road.
Hayes needs to show more creativity
Of the three summer signings Republic of Ireland international winger Jonny Hayes was the only one to start.
Defender Tommie Hoban and striker Edmondson were both on the bench.
Hayes return to Pittodrie was only sanctioned because he offered to defer his wages for a year due to projected £10 million losses from Covid-19.
Hayes started on the right, but alternated flanks with Matty Kennedy.
It was a switch reminiscent of Hayes and Niall McGinn in his first spell at Pittodrie.
Hayes showed plenty of effort and running, but needed more creative spark to turn the game.
Considine had to go – but unlucky he got to the ball first
The dismissal of Andy Considine late on was the 12th red card in the last 14 games against Rangers.
Considine’s red came from a poor touch from Scott Arfield as they both dived in for the ball.
The Dons left-back won it, but had his studs up and had to go. Arfield also had his studs up and, if he had won the ball, would probably have been dismissed.