Steven Gerrard faces a difficult decision when picking his team to face Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar tonight, he needs to weigh up the chance to rotate his squad against “lesser” opposition with the risk of the game being just a one-off shoot-out match.
One player who should be in the starting XI is Cedric Itten, who, according to Alan Hutton needs the opportunity to “get up to speed” whilst having the quality to make an impact, as revealed in an interview with Football Insider.
So what has Hutton said?
When asked how he thinks Rangers should set up with Alfredo Morelos nursing a nasty gash on his leg following the weekend’s win over Dundee United, he said:
“I would like to see Itten come in. Yes, he’s played games, he’s picked up a little injury but he needs to get up to speed.
“I think if Morelos does leave, I would personally play him as the number nine with Roofe off him and then either Barker or Aribo to the right and Kent, who has been outstanding, to the left.
“That would be my attacking front four and I think a lot of teams would be nervous so I’d like to see Itten get more game time and get him up to speed.”
So is Hutton correct?
Itten is fully fit having picked up an injury just before the international break and would have been disappointed that his progress at Ibrox had been put on pause, just as a partnership with Kemar Roofe was starting to look positive.
Will Itten start in Gibraltar?
When the Gers gaffer moved Itten into a more central position against Kilmarnock and allowed Roofe to be more mobile, there was an almost immediate impact and a start against the Imps could prove to be the perfect opportunity to get his confidence back and more importantly – get his first goal for the Light Blues.
Long-term he will probably be the natural successor to Morelos and, with Brandon Barker and Joe Aribo both spending the next few weeks on the sidelines, Gerrard will want as many of his attackers on form as possible with domestic fixtures against both Hibs and Celtic on the horizon.