Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s Glasgow Rangers head into Thursday evening’s Europa League tie safe in the knowledge that they have already secured a place for the Ibrox side in the knockout stages of the competition.
As such, with nothing at stake aside from pride, the fixture against Olympique Lyonnais presents the 46-year-old Gers manager with a perfect opportunity to heavily rotate his side, allowing a number of his peripheral squad members some much-needed game time.
Subsequently, this means that a plethora of Rangers’ regular starters must make way, with centre-forward Alfredo Morelos appearing to be a prime candidate for the chop on Thursday evening.
Since making the move to Ibrox back in 2017, Morelos has gone on to become an incredibly important part of the Rangers first-team setup, scoring a highly impressive 104 goals and registering 46 assists over his 207 appearances for the club.
This season has been no different, with the £10.8m-rated striker having already bagged five goals, provided three assists and created two big chances over his 14 Premiership appearances, as well as taking an average of 4.1 shots – the highest number of any player in the top flight – and making 1.6 key passes per game.
It has been a similar case over the Colombia international’s five outings in the Europa League this term, with the £33k-per-week hitman notching two goals and averaging a SofaScore match rating of 7.16, ranking him as his side’s second-best player in Europe.
However, it is exactly because of Morelos’ fine form that Van Bronckhorst must ruthlessly axe the centre-forward against Lyon.
With the striker being just one yellow card away from suspension in the Europa League, it is not worth running the risk of fielding the player who the Dutch manager claimed can always “create danger” in the dead rubber on Thursday, as he could subsequently miss the much more important first-leg of Rangers’ knockout tie next February.