Glasgow Rangers striker Kemar Roofe has been slapped with a two-game ban for a tackle during their 1-0 win over St Johnstone at Ibrox last week.
The 28-year-old received a booking by referee David Munro for a late challenge on Saints midfielder Murray Davidson but the Scottish FA decided to take retrospective action against the striker after he was found guilty of serious foul play.
There is no doubt this will be a significant blow for manager Steven Gerrard, who already faces the prospect of being without his star striker Alfredo Morelos for the home game against Kilmarnock, having served two matches of a three-game ban following his stamp on Hibernian defender Ryan Porteous.
Able to play in the centre or on the right, Roofe’s ability to operate in two positions upfront has been an added bonus for Gerrard. He has scored 12 goals in 24 games this season, that being the best of all forwards and the second-highest overall, a leaderboard topped by none other than James Tavernier (17).
However, his latest ban has now left Gerrard with a dilemma upfront as none of his other options can come to matching his 14 goal contributions in 24 appearances across all competitions this season.
Cedric Itten and Jermain Defoe are the two competing for a place upfront for Rangers, as Greg Stewart has been all but frozen out of the first-team picture, meaning the aforementioned duo are battling to bag a spot in-between Ryan Kent and Ianis Hagi.
Both players will be looking to seize the opportunity to impress Gerrard having fallen down the pecking order behind the likes of Morelos and Roofe as they try to establish themselves as regular starters at Ibrox.
Itten started on the left-hand side of the attack the last time the Gers faced Kilmarnock as Gerrard’s side ran out 2-0 winners at Rugby Park.
However, it could prove to be a tough test for the 24-year-old as he drew a blank against the likes of Stuart Findlay and Kirk Broadfoot, so he will need to be at his very best if the Premiership leaders are to get a result against the visitors.
Whilst Gerrard has given both players his full backing, he will no doubt be gutted to lose a player who has become an instrumental part of his side so far this season.
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