By Alan Hutton

17th Aug, 2021 | 7:00pm

Barisic tipped for axe by Rangers TV pundit and rookie to start v Alashkert

Alan Hutton has tipped Steven Gerrard to snub former untouchable Borna Barisic to keep Calvin Bassey in the Rangers starting XI versus Alashkert.

The former Ibrox star, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the Gers boss had a “real headache” ahead of Thursday’s clash.

Rangers made eight changes for the 5-0 League Cup defeat of Dunfermline Athletic on Friday, with several fringe players impressing.

Gers’ attentions now turn to the Europa League clash against Alashkert, where they will look to avoid a second European defeat in as many weeks.

Hutton suggested Bassey had done enough to keep regular starter Barisic out the line-up.

Hutton also speculated on potential recalls for Ianis Hagi, James Tavernier, and Alfredo Morelos.

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“I think it’ll mainly be at the back where the team may be interesting,” Hutton told Football Insider’s Russell Edge.

“Does Gerrard recall Tavernier and Barisic? I think Tavernier will come back in if I’m totally honest.

“He’s the captain, we know what he brings. However, I thought Patterson was excellent on Friday – he’s really giving Tavernier a run for his money.

“On Barisic, I think he’s had a really poor start to the season by his standards. Calvin Bassey has been on fire so I have a feeling that he will start.

“In midfield, Kamara misses the first leg. He’s a huge loss when he doesn’t play, he could be the difference-maker.

“Up front, you’d love to see Morelos back and banging goals in – he loves a European night.

“Hagi’s back fit. Scott Wright has been excellent. He’s one of the only ones who kept his place at Dunfermline. He’s playing at a high level.

“Gerrard has got a real headache to pick this team, but I think it’s at the back where he needs to shore it up.”

Barisic started both games against Malmo in the Champions League qualifiers, with Bassey left as an unused substitute.

Rangers host Alashkert side on Thursday, before making the trip to Yerevan a week later.

In other news, a pundit has tipped Rangers for a late spending spree this window.