Rangers went head-to-head with Kilmarnock on Boxing Day in the penultimate game of 2020 for the title-chasing outfit.
Celtic consolidated their 5 point lead at the summit of the division with a 2-1 win away at St Mirren, while the Gers recorded a 1-0 victory against Killie.
The looming Old Firm derby, which is due to take place on Sunday afternoon, was naturally a key factor to consider for Steven Gerrard when choosing his starting XI.
After scoring his 11th goal of the season in a 3-0 win over Hibernian prior to Christmas, Jermain Defoe kept his place at the spearhead of the attack as Alfredo Morelos was left on the substitutes bench – a decision that prompted plenty of social media reaction.
Alfie on the bench!!!! Bold move by the gaffer,,keeping him fresh for the piggery
— Del #Rangersfc #FTP (@delboym1872) December 26, 2019
The Colombian attacker’s absence was a key talking point amongst the Rangers fans, and many were keen to praise their manager for the decision.
Imagine folk upset that we have Jermaine Defoe up front 😂 wee man is a goal machine. Morelos rest over this period is crucial
— Stuart (@Stuart1872Rfc) December 26, 2019
Brilliant piece of managment by Gerrard . He said Morelos hates missing games , missing 2 on the bounce will hopefully have him hungry and desperate to break his duck against the scum on Sunday .
— paye (@paul23292510) December 26, 2019
I know Morelos temperament has been great this season but a red card would mean he would miss Sunday tae, makes sense in all ways.
— Rangers Bear (@Rangers4life_) December 26, 2019
Meanwhile, other fans seemed less enthused by the decision as one suggested that the striker is physically capable of playing two games in the space of just three days.
Wow, no buffalo.
— Dave (@Nimsay1872) December 26, 2019
Morelos should start
— zander (@zander60824808) December 26, 2019
Yeah great lets rest him…..he is fully capable of playing both games and is needed in both.
Defoe is great but killie will bully him
— Nathan (@nathanj3001) December 26, 2019
Finally, one fans expressed concern over the decision, suggesting that Gerrard could be making a big mistake if this is a sign that Morelos will be left out of the starting XI against Celtic this weekend.
However, it seems likely that the 23-year-old will be restored to the starting lineup after scoring the winning goal from the substitutes bench on Thursday.
Dropping Morelos for the last Old Firm league game at Ibrox cost us the game, hopefully Defoe starting today is not a sign that Gerrard is planning to start him again against Celtic on the 29th.
— Every other Saturday (@CF3Loyal) December 26, 2019