Glasgow Rangers are soaring high at the top of Scottish football right now but they have just been dealt a hefty setback.
They haven’t suffered many this season, but now Steven Gerrard and his side have some work to do.
The Gers are currently 13 points clear of Celtic in the race for the SPFL crown so everything is going swimmingly.
However, they will have to play their next two games without star striker Alfredo Morelos.
The Colombian is set to miss a period of matches after Rangers accepted a violent conduct charge against the player.
Morelos was initially shown a yellow card for elbowing Dundee defender Mark Connolly in the face but SFA compliance office Clare Whyte decided that punishment was not enough.
As a result, he’ll now miss the clash against St Mirren in the Scottish Cup and the encounter with Motherwell on Saturday afternoon.
There should only really be one idea here – to unleash Cedric Itten.
The Swiss striker was signed in the summer but has rarely been afforded many opportunities for the Light Blues.
He has been restricted to just four starts – two in the league – but now his opportunity simply has to come.
Itten scored in the Europa League last week so is full of confidence, and has even been spotted in training preparing to take up the role of Rangers’ centre-forward.
It would be a surprise if he didn’t get a chance, especially after words from his manager last week. Gerrard noted: “I think his (Itten) confidence is fine, I think he’s in a good place so unless you’ve noticed something I haven’t he’s been an absolute pleasure to work with, he works his socks off. I thought he earned the opportunity tonight and he’s took it with both hands.”
Although he’s found the back of the net on just three occasions since arriving at Ibrox, he hasn’t really had a fair chance to show what he’s capable of.
Yet, by playing him in their next two games, they’d have a perfect Morelos replacement. Why? Because Itten works incredibly hard and uses his body to superb effect – just like the powerful Colombian forward.
“Itten is a player with incredible physical strength and a great mentality,” his former coach Mauro Lustrinelli said.
After his goal last week, Itten has probably never been in such good shape to start. He must take his opportunity in the next few games with both hands.