Should Rangers Replace Alfredo Morelos With Kyle Lafferty For Celtic Clash?

Scottish Premiership side Rangers have managed to reach the Europa League group stage, after they defeated Russian side FC Ufa in their final qualifying tie.

The 1-1 away result was even more remarkable when you consider Steven Gerrard’s men finished the game with just nine men on the pitch.

Just when Rangers needed calm heads in Russia, striker Alfredo Morelos lost his and was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in quick succession.

The Colombian gave away a foul and then received his first booking for kicking the ball away, he then verbally had a go at the linesman which saw the referee show him his second yellow card straight away.

Now regular readers of this blog and my Twitter feed know that I’m a huge fan of Morelos but his petulant behaviour today just isn’t acceptable.

All he did was unnecessarily put his teammates under immense pressure and put his club’s European adventure at risk. Jon Flanagan would also make the team’s task tougher when he too was sent off after being given two yellow cards.

New Gers boss Gerrard refused to publicly criticise the pair:

“I don’t want to criticise anyone tonight,”

“It’s not the right time because we’ve achieved something very special, and those two players have helped that.”

But inside the dressing room I think the Rangers gaffer would have shown his disappointment that his players didn’t show the right kind of discipline.

Morelos, in particular, has had issues with ill discipline before.

Sometimes the hitman gets ridiculous stick from opposing fans and pundits, he also has a target on his head and other team’s players go out of their way to wind-up the forward. But he has to learn to use his frustrations to focus on getting goals and beating his tormentors that way and not reacting to provocation or abusing officials.

For me, Alfredo has given Steven Gerrard a decision to make for Sunday’s important Old Firm fixture.

Can the manager trust Morelos for the big domestic encounter at Celtic Park?

The forward is in-form; his early season performances have seen him score six goals in ten games thus far and it’s also seen the twenty-two year old receive his first call-up for Colombia.

Yet he’s so far not delivered in the games against Celtic.

Getting sent off in Ufa could persuade Gerrard to take El Buffalo out of the first team for such a potential power keg fixture.

It could be a good way for Morelos to learn that his actions have consequences and if he can’t keep a lid on his anger then he’ll miss important fixtures.

In Kyle Lafferty, Rangers now have another forward that’s capable of leading the line.

The returning Northern Irish international is a big game player and has had success in derby games over The Hoops in the past. He’s also already terrorised the Celtic backline this season as he helped former employers Hearts beat the league champions at Tynecastle earlier his month.

In total, the tall forward scored four times against Brendan Rodgers‘ side during his twelve month stint with The Jambos and he also banged in a brace for Rangers as they picked up a draw at Motherwell last weekend, in his first start since returning to Ibrox.

Like fellow returnee, Allan McGregor, Lafferty knows what it takes to beat Celtic and has a history of winning trophies for the Ibrox club. Their experience could prove vital in the bigger encounters.

It’s funny for those that remember Kyle’s first stint at the Govan club to think he’s now a switched on performer and a player that brings a calmness up-top. But he’s learned during the years and could now be relied upon when it matters.┬áThat’s a question mark that still remains when it comes to Alfredo Morelos.

It will be interesting to see if Steven Gerrard decides to stick with the younger Morelos or if he thinks thirty year old Lafferty’s elder head will be a wiser choice to lead the line in the big game against Glasgow rivals Celtic?

Comments are closed.