Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has a big call to make for the Europa League clash against Porto on Thursday evening.
Alfredo Morelos has scored the majority of his goals in Europe this season – nine from his total of 15 – but he’s one yellow card away from a ban.
Gerrard could consider benching him for the game tonight with an eye on the two really important home fixtures to come, against Porto and Young Boys.
However, in an interview in the Times, he has hinted that Morelos will play and that he will be aware of his responsibilities, especially as he’s set to come up against defender Pepe, another hothead.
“It is two top players that like to play the game with a lot of emotion so it will be interesting and fascinating [to watch]. Buff will be well aware that he needs to channel his aggression in the right manner.
“Hopefully we can come through without the situation where we miss him for the home game [against Porto in a fortnight].”
Gerrard also said that Morelos was fine after he suffered racial abuse in the game against Hearts last week.
“Alfredo is fine. He seems happy. My door is always open to any player to speak about any subject but I am not the type who will search for it. Alfredo was fine on the bus after the game and I’ve spoken to him on other things and left it to him if he wants to have the chat. He hasn’t mentioned it to me but my door is always open.”
It’s going to be tough to get anything out of the game tonight but we still think Morelos has to start. He’s a big-game player in Europe and if we can sneak a draw it will put us in a great position heading to the two crunch home games.
Losing the game and losing Morelos to another yellow card would be a disaster, though.
It’s why Gerrard is paid the big bucks – we’re sure he’ll make the right decision.
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