Glasgow Rangers return to European action this week, with Steven Gerrard’s side looking to take an advantage into the second-leg at Ibrox.
Ally McCoist told BT Sport’s live post-match coverage of Rangers’ Scottish League Cup win on Sunday (broadcast on 18/8; 16:58) that he would pick Alfredo Morelos ahead of Jermain Defoe for Thursday’s Europa League tie, but admitted that he would have no complaints to see either striker start in Poland.
Steven Gerrard’s side are closing in on reaching the Europa League group-stages again this year, but must get past Legia Warsaw in the play-off round of the competition, with the first-leg being played in the Polish capital this week.
With Rangers boasting depth all over the park, Gerrard looks set to have a number of difficult decisions. But perhaps no call will be as tough as the one to pick who leads the line, with both Defoe and Morelos in brilliant form.
The pair have 15 goals between them already this term, with the Colombian edging their individual battle having scored nine times in just eight appearances. Defoe provided another reminder of his quality at the weekend however, with a smart goal in the cup win over East Fife.
But despite that goal, McCoist suggested that he would probably opt to leave the Englishman out of the starting lineup this time around.
“I’d probably start with Morelos. It’ll depend on how they’re looking in training, I get that,” he told BT Sport. “But both of them are in a rich vein of form. Defoe got a hat-trick against Hibs and Morelos scoring again. You’re in a fortunate position, you could take a gamble with either of them. But if you’re asking me in all honesty, I’d probably just at this moment in time start with Morelos.”
It is a far cry from this time last season when Morelos had to shoulder almost all of the goalscoring burden on his own. The likes of Scott Arfield, Ryan Kent and Daniel Candeias contributed, but teams knew that if they kept Morelos quiet, they stood a much better chance of keeping a clean sheet.
This time around, keeping Morelos out of the game is only half the job as Gerrard can call on one of Britain’s most lethal goalscorers of the last two decades. Defoe looks to be almost as ruthless in front of goal as he has ever been, so Legia would be forgiven for feeling that neither option does them any favours.
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