Steven Gerrard’s experiment with playing two up top failed miserably in the 2-1 defeat away at Kilmarnock last month, but he should take advantage of an ideal opportunity to retry it when Rangers host St Johnstone on Saturday, as long as the right personnel are fit.
Well, it was no surprise when the Liverpool legend tested out a 4-4-2 diamond formation following the January arrival of Jermain Defoe on loan, as it was clearly difficult to leave either he or the first-choice Alfredo Morelos on the substitutes’ bench in his preferred 4-3-3 system.
However, it was something of a failed test as the Glasgow giants were beaten, and while defensive errors hardly helped on that occasion, Gerrard hasn’t used it again from the start in the Scottish Premiership.
It could be said that Morelos and Defoe aren’t ideally suited to playing as a partnership and a little-and-large combination of the latter and Kyle Lafferty could be more effective, which could be an option this weekend given the Colombian is suspended.
It depends on a few factors.
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Firstly, the 38-year-old reported on Friday, via The Herald Scotland, that Defoe and Lafferty are actually struggling with injuries ahead of the top-flight clash, and obviously if one or both of them are absent then the aforementioned tactic wouldn’t be possible.
If they are available though, Gerrard should take a risk and go with it.
Unlike against Kilmarnock they are in front of their own supporters against a side that could be low on confidence following their 5-0 thrashing by Celtic in the Scottish Cup last weekend.
With the right players in wide areas there is no doubt that the Ranger duo can prove to be a thorn in the side of their opponents on Saturday, and it looks to be the ideal opportunity to go with it in Morelos’ absence.